Sunday, March 25, 2018

Korea Needs Dialogue and Cooperation

 In an interview with America magazine, published by the American Jesuits, Bishop Kang of Jejudo urges Trump to reconsider North Korean strategy.  An article in the Catholic Peace Weekly reports on the interview in which the bishop asks for peaceful dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect as a peaceful solution preparing for the summit on the Korean Peninsula.

"True peace cannot be achieved with weapons and military operations," says the bishop. North Korean people have a strong pride in their regime and its people. North Korea has survived many extreme calamities: the floods of 1995, many died of starvation. They are prepared to face any economic pressures that may come.

Bishop Kang explains that North Korea has received Chinese aid for a long time, it maintains its independence even in the face of extreme adversity because of its national pride. "I will not give up even if I starve to death."

We need to respect the pride of the North Koreans. It doesn't help to hurt their pride. The bishop hopes President Trump will use more refined language when addressing the North. Even if the Korean leaders continue to use very aggressive and violent language as in the  past.

North Koreans are living  abnormally in repression and under continual surveillance. We have seen in recent world history that other socialist countries because of tension can collapse unexpectedly.

We can not expect peace as long as we have hate in our hearts. Necessary is working to realize the principles for universal peace. We need an attitude that sees what interferes with world peace and criticize it. We should not condemn others as demons, curse them and wish them to dissappear from the planet. We were filled with hostility and grudge toward our brothers and sisters across the border. Hostilitiy encourages struggle and conflict and does not promote peace.

The Korean and American Church are able to contribute to the peace of the Korean peninsula. Diplomacy is limited but we are able to give humanitarian assistance which has a role to play. In 1995 when North Korea because of the flood were starving the Korean Church supported them with food, and we had a meeting with the North. Our expectations for peace and reunification have been betrayed for a long time but peace can come unexpectedly.

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