Das geteilte Land - KOREA

2015: New from Korea - New Tension

Südkorea >< Nordkorea

NCCK, 2015-08-21
weiter unten: WCC expresses concern ...
                      KNCC-Letter to President PARK Geun Hye
                      Zeitungen in Korea, Japan und D als pdf

Letter from National Council of Churches in Korea

As you are aware, the landmine explosion in the DMZ (Aug. 4th) has aggravated the already deteriorated N/S relation. North and South have blamed each other even though the whole truth of the tragic accident is still in mystery. The South alleged that the landmines had been planted by the North, but the North insisted that the explosion was a manipulation of the South and urged to stop war games. To retaliate the landmine attack of the North, on Aug. 10th the South Korean military resumed the propaganda broadcast to North Korea using giant speakers. In turn the North gave strong warning

against the broadcast condemning it as a psychological warfare. Actually the broadcast to North Korea stopped 11 years ago during Noh’s administration as it had antagonized the North: Even in the time of Cheoan warship crisis, the South did not broadcast against the North as it provokes extreme hostility. Meanwhile on Aug. 17 the US and the South began the UFG* military drill. 

Yesterday, around 4 pm the South Korean military agency reported that there was an artillery attack targeting the giant speakers at Yunchun-gun area. About two hours later the South Korean forces fired artillery in response to the attack. In the early morning today, the central new agency in the North declared that the artillery attack was not conducted by them and thus the broadcast must stop immediately. Furthermore they warned that if the South does not stop the broadcast, there will be a substantial military action within 48 hours. With this warning the North sent the fax message to the South, saying that “the current crisis can be peacefully resolved if the South stops the broadcast immediately.” However, the South responded that they would continue the broadcast as well as the joint military drill at any cost. Right now, villagers at Yunchun-gun were evacuated and the military forces in both Koreas were put on the high emergency alert.  
 
The root-cause of yesterday’s artillery exchanges between the N/S is the landmine accident. A few people in the South raise many questions about the announcement of the SK government and say that this will be another Cheonan warship case. They also suspect that Park administration is creating crisis to break the current political crisis in the domestic affairs including the Sewolho tragedy, MERS outbreak and the NIS hacking case.
 
In the begging of this year leaders of both Koreas announced openly that they would open a new era for reconciliation and reunification as two Koreas celebrate 70th anniversary of liberation this year. But the reality we face now is that we are moving from the cold war to a hot war. In order to respond to this quasi-war situation, the Reunification Committee of the NCCK had an emergency meeting yesterday and decided to demand both Koreas to resolve the present crisis with peaceful means. The Committee said, one of the immediate actions for South is to stop the broadcast as the North already expressed their willingness to peaceful approach as long as the South stops the broadcast.
 
In this time of crisis, please remember us and our people in your prayers.


* Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) is the name (as of 2014) of the military exercise previously known as Ulchi-Focus Lens, a combined military exercise between South Korea and the United States. The exercise is the world's largest computerized command and control implementation which mainly focuses on defending South Korea from a North Korean attack. The exercise was initiated in 1976 and is conducted annually during August or September. (Wikipedia)


WCC expresses concern over escalating tensions on Korean peninsula

21 August 2015

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is alarmed by the escalating tensions and exchanges of fire on the Korean peninsula. “The governments of South and North Korea are engaged in a dangerous game of provocation and counter-provocation,” said director of the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs Peter Prove, “which puts the lives of the people of the peninsula into jeopardy.”

Recent incidents involving a landmine explosion in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) in which two South Korean soldiers were severely injured, and South Korea’s resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts directed toward North Korea, have escalated rapidly in to exchanges of artillery fire between the two sides. This represents a qualitatively more serious situation than during previous periods of heightened tensions in the region. Recent joint military exercises by US and South Korean forces also have contributed to this explosive political environment.

“The World Council of Churches calls on both South and North Korea to refrain from further mutual provocations, and on other involved governments such as the USA to contribute to reducing rather than to heightening tensions,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “Provocation does not offer a path to peace,” he stressed. “It can only risk a slide into conflict, with unimaginable and uncontrollable consequences for the Korean people as well as people of the region and the world.”

“Together with the National Council of Churches in Korea, we urge the opening and use of channels of communication to help prevent military clashes,” Tveit added.


 

The National Council of Churches in Korea sent letter to President Park

Zeitungen: Hankyoreh, Japan Times, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung:

RNZ am 22.8.2015:
Nordkorea verschärft die Kriegsdrohungen
Seoul. (dpa) Säbelrasseln auf der koreanischen Halbinsel: Nordkoreas kommunistischer Machthaber Kirn Jong Un hat die Grenztruppen des Landes in höchste Gefechtsbereitschaft versetzt. „Alle Frontlinien-Einheiten der Volksarmee sind in einen Kriegszustand eingetreten, um Überraschungseinsätze zu starten", berichteten Staatsmedien am Freitag. Die Drohung erfolgte nach einem Schusswechsel zwischen Artillerieeinheiten beider Länder am Donnerstag. Nordkorea hatte Südkorea zuvor ultimativ aufgefordert, alle Lautsprecheranlagen entlang der entmilitarisierten Zone abzubauen, die der Ausstrahlung von Propagandasendungen dienen.


2015-08-12 Deal with the DMZ mine in a way that doesn’t just heighten tensions. Hankyoreh.

2015-08-13 The DMZ mine is another case of this government’s failure to respond. Hankyoreh

2015-08-21 With inter-Korean tensions rising, we must prevent a crisis. Hankyoreh

2015-08-22 Japan condemns North Korean border ‘provocation'; experts say military escalation unlikely. Japan Times

2015-08-22 Krieg der Lautsprecher. RNZ

2015-08-22 Südkoreaner befürchten Zuspitzung des Konflikts mit Nordkorea. RNZ

2015-08-22 Nord- und Südkorea verhandeln über Lautsprecher. SZ 






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