A statement from the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace calls on regional actors to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the peninsula: "You cannot justify the development of such weapons for national defense, or the desire for peace, it is a contradiction." The North must put an end to its provocations, while the South "has to apply sanctions to encourage dialogue, not to crush the people." Criticism of neighboring countries: "Do not use Pyongyang tests as an excuse to spread bombs throughout Asia".
Seoul (AsiaNews) - An appeal to Pyongyang to abandon the development of a nuclear arsenal, but also to Seoul, Washington and the "other powers in the region. Stop using nuclear tests by North Korea as an excuse to fill Asia with bombs. Peace is built through dialogue and patience, not with an escalation of tension and sanctions “, writes the South Korean Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace in a statement entitled "Appeal for Peace."
The President of the Commission, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik has written a text that unfolds in three points. After recalling the "Pacem in Terris" of Pope John XXIII, the prelate appealed to Pyongyang: "Give up the development of atomic weapons. The nuclear ambitions of North Korea is contrary to the common effort for peace in Korea and the nuclear disarmament of the peninsula. You cannot separate peace from having nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons can never be developed for 'the protection of peace' and 'security of one’s country'. Nuclear weapons only cause disputes, and they bring the great spiritual and physical danger of destruction and death ".
The second point is addressed to Seoul: "Continuing to tighten sanctions against the regime in the North, will only increase the tension. The real purpose of any sanction should be to open the door to dialogue and negotiation. It is not right that the people, and especially the weakest, are those who suffer sanctions most. Targeting the economy is a measure that should be prudently applied, always following a criterion of legitimacy and morality. Remember that heavier sanctions will only increase the danger of a direct clash. Do not abandon dialogue. "
The third and last point touches instead "the nations that surround the peninsula. North Korean nuclear tests should not become a pretext to put nuclear weapons in any Asian country. We hope for the disarmament of the peninsula, as well as that of the continent. We must foster peace between the two Koreas, so that peace can become the seed for true peace in the world. Only the balance of peace, not the balance of power, can resolve the tensions in Korea and the threat to peace in the world ".
In conclusion, Msgr. You recalls the 15th anniversary of 9/11: "We hope and pray that mankind never forget that the fruits of hatred and violence are still flourishing in the world. Hatred creates greater hatred, violence creates more violence. Peace comes not through the logic of the powerful (cfr. Gaudium et Spes, 78). Peace is complete when disagreements and misery, which lead the war, decrease and when the desire for order and for peace grows in all men. "