The Korean peninsula is rapidly becoming the world’s most dangerous crisis theatre. United States President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un are engaged in a war of words and seem to be determined to a show of force.
The US and South Korea are currently engaging in large-scale military exercises along the North Korean coast. The US military has begun to install its new missile defense system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense: THAAD) on South Korean soil in spite of strong protest from China and from South Korean citizens themselves.
While North Korea announces further missile and nuclear tests, the US is deploying an aircraft carrier, warships and a submarine near the Korean peninsula to intimidate the North Korean regime, which has threatened to sink the aircraft carrier and launch a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike,” according to reports from the BBC.
Amid the rising tension in one of the most sensitive regions of the world, the WCRC sent an appeal to the United Nations Security Council calling “for an end of all provocative military exercises, which destabilize the situation on the Korean peninsula and to establish a platform of dialogue to achieve durable peace in Northeast Asia, where all countries will feel equally honored and respected.”
The WCRC has emphasized repeatedly that peace in Korea will eventually contribute to peace in the region and in the world. In accordance with ecumenical policy positions the WCRC has encouraged its member churches in Korea and in the world to engage in new areas of global cooperation for peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula. Following a long history of ecumenical accompaniment of the churches in Korea a WCRC delegation led by WCRC President Rev. Dr Jerry Pillay and WCRC General Secretary Rev. Chris Ferguson undertook a visit to North Korea from 24 to 29 September 2016.
In the light of its visit to North Korea and in view of the most recent developments on the Korean Peninsula the World Communion of Reformed Churches urges the members of the UN Security Council “to take decisive steps towards replacing the Armistice Agreement of 1953 by a Peace Treaty, so as to end foreign military presence on the Korean peninsula and to allow the Korean people to accomplish the peaceful reunification of the Korean nation on its own terms.”