WCC expresses concern at rising tensions over Korean peninsula
The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed “grave concern” over both the recent nuclear test on the Korean peninsula and responses to it.
In his message, Tveit stressed the need for stronger engagement, a diplomatic solutions and inter-Korean cooperation instead of hostile acts.
“The nuclear test in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a destabilising action in a fragile region. So far, the main responses risk tipping the region into greater crisis,” said Tveit.
“The current situation demonstrates an urgent need for the members of the Six-Party Talks, the six governments most responsible for peace and human security in Northeast Asia, to return to their own earlier path of negotiations and confidence-building,” he said.
Tveit stressed the “need of the hour” to move away from “what churches there have called a continual state of confrontation imposed by a narrow concept of ‘security’”. He expressed his hope for progress towards “direct contacts between the parties, multilateral negotiations and the redress of unresolved grievances.”
“We also call for signs of recognition that nuclear weapons in anyone’s hands are both a symptom of insecurity and a catalyst for instability,” added Tveit.
The WCC will hold its 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, in October this year, addressing the theme “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”. Tveit said the theme is a fervent prayer for peace on the Korean peninsula.