20 November 2017
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  • » 04/15/2017, 12.10

    KOREA

    Amid winds of war, the Korean Church prepares the country for elections and peace



    Pyongyang responds with threats "of nuclear strikes" if the US carries out any provocative gestures. The United States aircraft carrier Carl Vinson is deployed to the Korean peninsula. Chinese Minister: Enough provocations and threats. The bishops' conference questions presidential candidates over their policy toward North Korea. Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik sceptical about the possibility of violent acts.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Korean Church is preparing to face the country's presidential elections and to work for peace and reconciliation, while the North and the United States flex their military muscle in Pyongyang and in the Sea of ​​Japan. "I do not think there will be a military attack or one side or the other," says Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon and president of the National Justice and Peace Commission (left in picture).

    "Everyone would have a lot to lose if they attack or carry out some act of violence," adds the bishop. "That's why it is worth preparing for the future. And the future is that on May 9 South Korea will vote for the new president of the country. The Bishops' Conference is focusing on preparing Korean citizens for a just and good choice of candidates. " Among the selection criteria is their policy for reconciliation between North and South and a halt to the Thaad anti-missile system, unpopular with North Korea and especially China.

    The words of Msgr. You are strident given that just yesterday North Korea warned the United States from provocative actions in the region, saying it  was ready to "respond with nuclear strikes." The comment from the Military officer Choe Ryong-Hae occurred during military parades and the celebrations of the 105 years since the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and grandfather of the dictator Kim Jong-un.

    For the first time ever the parade included what appears to be a ballistic missile that can be launched from a submarine with nuclear warheads that could reach targets from all parts of the world.

    As for the US, President Donald Trump and his administration have continued in recent weeks to threaten North Korea, pressuring China to do something to stop the nuclear program of Pyongyang, "otherwise we will do it ourselves." The bombing of the Air Base Shayrat (Syria) and the use of the enormous Moab bomb in Afghanistan have increased tension, while a fleet with 6 thousand soldiers on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson crosses the Sea of ​​Japan today headed for the peninsula Korean.

    The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, asked both sides not to continue with "provocations and threats towards each other," saying that "conflict could break out at any moment."

    Meanwhile, the Korean Bishops' Conference sent to the candidates for presidential elections five questions to clarify their policy on issues concerning life, reconciliation between North and South, ecology, human rights (justice and peace). After their responses, the bishops published their voting criteria.

    Among the most decisive questions are first of all those relating to issues on life and human rights (abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, the death penalty, rights of workers - especially young people - and the trade union and labor rights).

    Then comes the question on the commitment to support agriculture and the economy (agricultural industry protection, genetically modified food, use of chemical fertilizers, economic democratization, privatization of public enterprises, etc.).

    So, the question of the environment: the use of nuclear power, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, development of renewable energy.

    Finally, the question related to the relationship with the North and with Japan: relaunching dialogue with North Korea; the problem of the Thaad deployment in the territory of South Korea; the cancellation of the agreement signed by the previous government with Japan.

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    See also

    17/08/2017 08:56:00 KOREA - USA
    Moon: There will be no new war on the Korean peninsula

    100 days since the beginning of his mandate, the South Korean President reiterated his approach to North Korea: openness to dialogue and sanctions. Any military option (of the US) will need Seoul's consent. Pyongyang has to stop the production of nuclear weapons. Relations with Japan.



    11/10/2017 10:02:00 KOREA-USA
    Allied bombers fly over the Korean peninsula. Jimmy Carter pushes for dialogue

    Departing from Guam, they flew over South Korea and dropped bombs in the sea. For the South the operation is part of "regular training". For the US, it is a commitment to its allies to safeguard regional security and stability. Former US President Carter wants to meet Kim Jong-un.



    07/08/2017 10:37:00 KOREA
    South Korean, US and Japanese foreign ministers meet in Manila to assess Pyongyang's position

    Proposed mediation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in is backed by China and partly by the US. North Korean and South Korean foreign ministers have their first handshake since Moon took over. The UN resolution supports diplomacy in an attempt to ward off war. Moon and Trump talk by phone.



    07/09/2017 10:24:00 CHINA-US-KOREA
    Xi Jinping and Trump in joint condemnation of Pyongyang nuclear test

    The nuclear test is "a provocative and destabilizing action", "dangerous to the world" and is not in Pyongyang's best interests. North Ambassador to the UN: The test is "a gift package to the US". Four more  Thaad anti-missile launchers installed, angering Beijing and Moscow.



    18/05/2016 09:26:00 UNITED STATES - NORTH KOREA
    Donald Trump open to meeting Kim Jong-un

    The American billionaire, and probable Republican candidate in the upcoming US presidential elections, said: " I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,”.  Discussions on hypothetical summit on Pyongyang's nuclear program and the relations with China: "I would put enormous pressure on Beijing. We have immense power from the economic point of view ". His challenger, Hillary Clinton, replicates: "He has a bizarre fascination with foreign strongmen."





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