Saturday, April 28, 2018
Prayer for Peace on the Peninsula
A Korean proverb well known in society has a lot to say to us. "If a cousin buys land our tummies hurt" (Envy). It's normal to celebrate when a person close to us does something good or is blessed but as we know that is not always the case. Why is this true? Our dispositions are often fickle due to original sin and not easily overcome. Is it because we are afraid that the cousin will eventually take away our land?
In the Peace Column of the Catholic Peace Weekly, the columnist describes the situation in Korea with the North-South relationship. After the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the situation changed rapidly. The historic inter-Korean summit is now in sight (The leaders of South and North Korea sat down at the table for the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years yesterday at 10:16 am on April 27, 2018. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat across from each other and chatted preparing for the summit).
The flowers of hope are beginning to bloom. A week before the inter-Korean summit, North Korea unanimously adopted a ban on nuclear and missile tests. In response, our army stopped broadcasting with their speakers to the North. Discussions on Northeast Asian cooperation and the Korean Peninsula New Economy Initiatives are also emerging.
If the inter-Korean summit is to achieve the desired results it will lead to a successful North Korean and US summit and we hope that the Korean peninsula will come to an historical turning point where we will see reconciliation, exchange, and cooperation.
Of course, we don't want to rush into optimistic thinking. We are apprehensive about the North's attitude and we need to be on our guard and not reduce our vigilance and pay close attention to the texts. However, as a lawyer said 20 years ago avoiding and opposing the North-South unification is harming both the North and South. When no harm is done to the South and we say it is only helping the North, is that not the situation of a cousin buying land and we having a bellyache?
We need to accept the wind of change on the Korean Peninsula and not give in to the idea that it will hurt us. We need peaceful coexistence not war. It is reconciliation, not confrontation, interchange and cooperation, not disconnection. The North-South summit should be the stepping stone for the North Korea-US summit.
He finishes the column with a hope that we will continue praying for peace and reconciliation on the peninsula until the day when true peace and reconciliation is realized in this land.