07/01/2019, 15.25
KOREA
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Korean Catholics are now “waiting for peace"

On 25 June, the bishops and over 20,000 people marked the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War with Bishop You entrusting the peace process to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and Korean martyrs. For him, “the path of peace cannot be short: so many steps must be taken”.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Korean Catholics are full of joy and hope following yesterday’s historic meeting in Panmunjom between the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"We are delighted," said Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik (pictured), bishop of Daejeon and president of the Commission for Social Affairs of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Korea (CBCK).

"On 25 June, we remembered the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War,” he explained. “Division, hatred and prejudice have marked relations between the two countries for almost 70 years but last year the dialogue found new impetus. It has been so long that the path of peace cannot be short: so many steps must be taken, " Mgr You said.

"Kim Jong-un and Trump have already taken important ones, like the summits in Singapore and Hanoi. Although the two leaders did not reach an agreement in the latter, their meeting was a sign of hope because the US and North Korea were able to meet and understand what one thinks of the other.”

"As Pope Francis reiterated in yesterday's Angelus, this is the beauty of the culture of encounter. If Kim and Trump had not spoken in Hanoi, yesterday's great step forward would not have taken place."

"On the anniversary of 25 June, we Korean bishops and over 20,000 faithful gathered in prayer looking towards Panmunjom, a few kilometres from the village. We prayed together for peace in the peninsula and a few days later Trump and Kim met. Our hope now is that we continue in that direction."

“As I always tell the faithful, at this historic moment, North Korea, United States, South Korea and China think first of all about their own interests. May the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and all the Korean martyrs change the hearts of the leaders, so that they can finally reach an agreement.

“The way we Catholics live our lives is also important. As men of faith, encounter and communion, we are called to be witnesses of peace. In doing so, peace will come to the Korean peninsula,” he said. (P.F.)

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