ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - "Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula": Archbishop of Seoul’s appeal

Seoul – Due to the tensions that occur between North and South Korea, "it is urgent to promote a desire for dialogue." Starting with an assumption: "The Church proposes to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and a peaceful way to achieve this goal is necessary." This is the appeal launched through Fides Agency, by His Exc. Mgr. Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, who occurs a few days after the inauguration of the new president of the country, Park Geun-hye.One of the most controversial dossiers on the table of the new president is that of relations with North Korea, which in recent years has continued with its nuclear program.Mgr. Yeom Soo-jung tells Fides: "As Archbishop of Seoul I am also Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang. Therefore, our Church must take into account the problems of the Church in North Korea. I think the most important aspect in relations between North and South Korea is to build mutual trust in order to prevent further conflict. The Church will engage in prayer and try to make gestures of solidarity. The solution of the inter-Korean conflict is that of dialogue. Meanwhile, our diocese helps North Korea, providing humanitarian assistance through Caritas. The Korean Church cares about the people of North Korea and the evangelization of the country. This is why we trust in the Lord. " Looking at the social and political situation of South Korea, the Archbishop remarked to Fides: "The political situation of South Korea has been a bit difficult. After a period of conflicts between the parties, I believe that disputes will be resolved well. Our people are diligent, serious and optimistic: we do not lose hope in any circumstance. On February 25, we welcomed the first woman president, Park Geun-hye. The nation hopes that the president keeps her promises and makes South Korea a peaceful country. The most pressing problems are the economic depression and the gap between the rich elite and the masses with low incomes."