Monday, June 11, 2018

Singapore Summit on June 12

War has stopped on the peninsula but peace has not begun. The sound of the cannon isn't heard but they have not been removed. We still have infiltrations, attacks and sunken ships that have continued for many decades. With these words a journalist for the  Catholic Peace weekly expresses his hope for the  June 12 summit.

Calm presently in the trenches, we do not call it peace but a point between war and peace. The ceasefire is not the end of the war but a period of rest. If one side feels the need we have a flare up, consequently, always on the watch and strengthening each's capabilities. Nuclear weapons and missiles, fighter planes and underground operations continue, the arms competition is another war.

However, even with these conditions flowers continue to bloom. Birds still fly over the rusty barbed wire. The children who played in the alley grew up without knowledge of the history of the truce and they are now in their sixties.

Is peace finally coming to Korea? The two leaders of the two Koreas professed in the 'Panmunjom Declaration' that there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula, and a new era of peace has opened to the 80 million people of Korea and the world. Only the wind knows what transpired on that day in the demilitarized zone but it gives the nation hope during this springtime. Will peace come to the land?

The road will not be easy. It has been a series of reversals and deviations, excitement and disappointments, shock and relief. One step forward and two steps backward. The road ahead is still long and not over until the end. There are reefs and ambushes all over the way to peace. Meeting is easy, agreement is difficult; carrying it out still more difficult.

Declaring the end of the war is one thing, guaranteeing the peace is another. We desire friendship and cooperation—laying down the weapons and finding a way for mutual prosperity and well being. "They will hammer their swords into plowshares, their spears into sickles" (Isaiah 2:4). This is true peace.

Violence and oppression are also possible in achieving order. Control by force can also maintain order over disputes, however, living with this kind of threat is not peace. With fear and insecurity, we have a false peace a lie that will quickly break down.

Peace is not just the absence of war, not a balance between hostile forces nor the results of total domination. Peace is the result of justice. Strategy and tactics do not lead to peace. Shaking hands with unjust power is not peace. True peace comes from the heart. Without trust, peace cannot be rooted. 

Self-righteousness and rejection harm peace. Therefore peace is always imperfect and scarce in the world. True peace is a grace, it comes with prayer. Without a commitment to humanity and the common good, peace does not come. Peace is love, justice, and goodness.

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