The Ecumenical Forum on Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula
World Council of Churches / Ökumenischer Rat der Kirchen
Die Erklärung über Frieden und Wiedervereinigung auf der kor. Halbinsel
Hier das Communiqué als pdf-Datei
A View from Germany
Lutz Drescher, unser Geschäftsführer und Ostasienreferent in der EMS hat an der Konsultation des ÖRK zu „Justice Peace and Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula“ im Juni 201 teilgenommen. Er stellt uns seinen Beitrag in der Arbeitsgruppe „Engaging with today’s realities on the Korean Peninsula“ zur Verfügung.
Germany has been mentioned several times. We celebrate this year the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall which led subsequently to the reunification of Germany. As Germans we are committed to continue to accompany the Korean People on their way of Peace and reconciliation. I would like to make clear that for me the German model of unification by absorption of one part through the other is not suitable for the Korean peninsula. In Germany the population off West Germany has been three times as much as the population in East Germany.
In Korea we have around 50 million people live in in the South and 25 million people living in the North, so only mutual integration would be a real unification. I want to mention one more point which seems to be very important in order to do justice to our brothers and sisters from the Korean Christian Federation the history Christianity in Germany is more than thousand years the history of protestant Christianity in the DPRK has only started in 1884 so it‘s been a mere 60 years and then division started. It is not fair to expect the Christians in the North to play the same role as Christians have played in East Germany.
I now want to mention 8 points which seem to be important:
1. There is a massive Arms buildup in East Asia but what we need are efforts for disarmament.
2. Looking at the geopolitical Situation there is a new struggle for hegemony between the superpowers the US, China and Russia going on. The Korean people have been victims of struggles like this in the past. What we need is cooperation and the resume of the six party talks.
3. Instead of the politicization of human rights we need a politics of reconciliation. Only a Non-aggression pact or a Peace Treaty will take away the fear and can help to overcome the „National security first” politics which has been and to some extend still is the root cause of the violation of Human Rights in the South (National Security Law) and in the North.
4. The wounds of the Korean War (1950-53) - which has been the first Hot War in the time of the Cold War and in which many nations have been involved - in which Koreans have killed Korean have not yet been healed. The traumatic experience have created a cold war mentality which is affecting all our efforts to bring about peace and reunification. What's needed is healing and reconciliation. And we as Christians believing in a wounded God, in Christ who even after resurrection has borne the signs of the cross can make a significant contribution towards this process.
5. We observe in the last couple of years a new politics of confrontation especially in the South. What is needed is a new determination for cooperation.
6. I strongly believe that neither attempts to isolate the DPRK by sanctions nor attempts of self-isolation will work. Already now a lot of information are coming in from China and this process cannot be stopped. What is needed are efforts of engagement by the international community and a new openness from the side of the DPRK. I already perceive signs of the openness and we should encourage these.
7. We should never forget that the DPRK is first of all a country where people are living. When we hear “North Korea” we are immediately thinking in terms of systems and politics and we simply cannot imagine that there people are living haven their joys and sorrows as we have. Since God in Christ became a human being, for us as Christians people are important.
8. I have well received the presentations of Rev. KANG Myong Chol, chaiperson of KCF and of Rec. Jeon Yeong Ho. But there is one point in which I have a different opinion. I don't believe that it will be helpful if we emphasized the five thousand years of common history or the common blood line. Unification as a process to create something new can only be achieved if we are ready to respect differences among ourselves and to accept diversity. Only on this basis we can learn to live together
Last but not least I want to share one experiences with you: The first time I've met brothers from the Korean Christian Federation was in June 1989 in Berlin. At that time of history nobody even would have dared to dream that reunification of the German people will become reality in the same year. I think the lesson we can learn from the German experience is this that we never can know when unification will happen. We should always be prepared. And I’m sure when it happens the presence and the contributions and the creativity of all of us who are present her will be required. So it is true what Jesus says when he calls us to be awake: “Watch and pray” (Math.26.14) and prepare for the day the division of the Korean people will be overcome.
Lutz Drescher, Evangelical Mission in Solidarity, EMS, Stuttgart, Drescher@ems-online.org