Wednesday, June 26, 2019
The beginning of the Korean War began on June 25, 1950. The line between North and South Korea was made at the end of the Second World War. It was intended to be temporary but continued for 70 years. The cease-fire at the Armistice on July 1953 brought no peace treaty, consequently the state of war between the North and South still exists. We have seen over the years how this hostility has shown itself endangering the citizens of both countries and jeopardizing the rest of the world.
Most of the Koreans in the South do favor the unification of the peninsula but many of the young would not be of that mind. They see the human rights issue as a serious obstacle and also self-interest may be a big part of their understanding They have benefited from freedom and wealth of the country and are not too interested in seeing it disappear helping the impoverished North.
June 25, is the day we pray for peace and unification in Korea. Last year after three meetings of the leaders of North Korea and South Korea and the meetings with the U.S. we hoped to see changes. But with the new year doubts have arisen but still hope and prayers for the day of unification. These words begin an article by the unification committee chairman in a diocesan bulletin.
Over 70 years of division and many citizens in the South have come to take it as the way it is on the peninsula. It's a fact that the road to unification will be filled with many difficulties. We need to work to overcome this kind of thinking. The present peace we experience is not a full peace.
The separation of the country has given us great pain. Many have spilled their blood and today some are asking for blood. The situation is making the conflict between the members of society on the issue deeper with the passage of time. Because of the division, many citizens over the years have been treated unjustly by the government and have suffered. The time has come to end all the suffering and harm done because of the division.
We need to overcome the difficulties of our division and seek peace. But the task is not easy. Over 70 years have past and feelings of trust have not been fostered. Always confronting, criticizing, each side pushing their point of view as the only one. We have talked unification but not together and go our separate ways looking for the one Korea— doing it my way. If reunification means that my life will have to change then we are not interested and our desire disappears.
The journey to unification must be together. From last year we have come a long way along the road. On the military demarcation line, tensions have decreased. In the demilitarized zone, we have opened up a road to meeting and dialogue. The road leading to trust is before us and we need to meet and work towards building community.
The peace that Jesus came to give us is not the kind that we can choose to ignore our brothers and sisters and go blithely ahead looking for peace on our own terms. We pray for reunification and do all we can to realize it by what we do and say.