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A beautiful performance by dozens of talented North Korean children delighted the visitors.   One of only two traditional Protestant churches in North Korea.  The delegation shared faith and fellowship with participants in a house church in North Korea.

While in North Korea, the U.S. ecumenical delegation visited with talented children, saw one of only two "traditional" Protestant churches, and worshipped with Korean Christians in a North Korean house church.  Photos by delegation member Zhu Xiaoling.

Nov.17 Statement by U.S. Ecumenical Delegation to Korean Peninsula

Korean Peninsula, November 17, 2003 -- A seven-member delegation of ecumenical leaders from the National Council of Churches USA (NCC) and Church World Service (CWS) who have been meeting with religious and government officials in North and South Korea on the crisis there have issued a call for:

  • Member denominations of NCC and CWS to encourage their congregations 1) to contemplate how the Gospel's call to be peacemakers applies to their understanding of the Korean situation, 2) be advocates for the peaceful reunification of Korea especially with members of Congress and 3) urge the President to continue with negotiations with North Korea.

  • The ecumenical community to continue to nurture their ties with the Christian community on the Korean peninsula and to renew its cooperation in common advocacy, information sharing and regular visits, particularly to the isolated Christian family in North Korea.

  • The participation and cooperation of all Koreans in the diaspora in the above mentioned activities.

  • The six-party talks not only focus on the nuclear issue but also include developing means and mechanisms to a sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula. Given that a comprehensive and lasting peace requires international cooperation, we encourage the international community particularly those countries in the region, to participate as actively as appropriate. It is our conviction that diplomacy and negotiations remain the best approach for finding durable solutions.

  • A clear U.S. statement in favor of a peaceful resolution to the tensions on the peninsula. As part of a reenergized dialogue to arrive at a comprehensive settlement for peace and political reunion on the peninsula, the delegation urges the administration to pledge not to preemptively attack North Korea, to conclude a non-aggression pact and to move toward a comprehensive peace formally ending the "state of war" that has existed since 1953. In this regard, ending the Armistice and replacing it with a peace treaty will help promote a political climate conducive to lasting peace on the peninsula.  

  • The international community to respond generously to the 2004 UN Appeal for US$ 200 million for North Korea humanitarian assistance. The delegation is deeply concerned about the severe drop in the quantity of aid on the part of the U.S. government. It urges the Bush administration to continue the American tradition of generosity and compassion in regard to the UN North Korea Appeal by raising its contribution substantially over the 2003 level. 


See Related Stories: 

Ecumenical Delegation to North Korea -- Photos and Summary of Activities
CWS Analyst Victor Hsu's statement to Peace Conference, with photos from North Korean visit.
Closing Statement by Participants in Third International Peace Conference in Seoul

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