Overview of the Korea Peace Appeal
The PC(USA) has been working in solidarity with our partners in Korea as part of an international campaign to end the Korean War. The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) and the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) have joined around 400 other church partners and civil society organizations in the Korea Peace Appeal campaign calling on governments involved in the ongoing conflict on the Korean Peninsula to immediately cease all hostile actions and return to solving the conflict through dialogue and mutual trust-building.
The Korean War that had begun in 1950 was only paused by the armistice agreement that was signed by the U.S.A., the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), and by China in 1953. That armistice agreement stated that all signatories would gather again to sign a peace treaty to formally end the war within that year, but that treaty never came to pass. Hence the people of the Korean Peninsula have continued to suffer the repercussions of a forever state of war. In this state of war all of society on the Korean Peninsula are directing their energy and resources to war, to the ideological conflict, and to maintaining the division; and both the environment and the most vulnerable people throughout the peninsula are bearing the brunt of the cost.
Our partners in Korea seek to break out of this deadlock, hoping that a move toward peace would open up a possibility for resources to be used for the people’s welfare and protecting the environment rather than as tools for destruction and perpetuation of hostility. Our partners also remind us in the US that the US military has held wartime operational command authority over the military of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) since the Korean War, so US military and government policy play no small part in either perpetuating the deadlock or moving out of the way to let Koreans lead the peace process.
The PC(USA) now seeks to take up that responsibility and join our partners in solidarity to help move a Korean-led peace process forward, beyond its current stalemate. We call on the PC(USA) membership to obtain 30,000 signatures for the Korea Peace Appeal. Please add your name on the Korea Peace Appeal page or print the attached signature sheet to collect signatures in your community. Add your voice to this international coalition calling for an end to the Korean War.
A Message from J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Stated Clerk on Korea Peace Appeal from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) OGA on Vimeo.
Korea Peace Appeal is an international campaign that seeks to amplify voices calling for an end to the Korean War and a transition from armistice to peace beyond the Korean Peninsula and throughout the world.” (from their website) You can add your name to this appeal on the Korea Peace Appeal page, and make sure you write Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in the affiliation field.
National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) Campaign for Korea Peace
Home of the NCCK’s campaigns for peace in Korea. It provides background and links to NCCK and other ecumenical statements as well as updates on actions promoting the Korea Peace Appeal and meetings with partners in North Korea.
Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea (PPNK) Facebook page
The PPNK is a gathering of Presbyterians and their friends seeking to join Korean partners in solidarity to work for peace in Korea.
Memory of Forgotten War, a documentary on the Korean War and its aftermath
“MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War (1950-53) by four Korean-American survivors. Their stories take audiences through the trajectory of the war, from extensive bombing campaigns, to day-to-day struggle for survival and separation from family members across the DMZ. Decades later, each person reunites with relatives in North Korea, conveying beyond words the meaning of family loss. These stories belie the notion that war ends when the guns are silenced and foreshadow the future of countless others displaced by ongoing military conflict today. (from their website)”
“Shedding new light on a geopolitical hotspot, the film — written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Korean-American actor John Cho — confronts the myth of the ‘Forgotten War,’ documenting the post-1953 conflict and global consequences.” (from the website)
The Korean War: A History by Bruce Cumings
Bruce Cumings presents a history of the war that goes beyond merely military tactics, but also includes the context of the Korean Peninsula as the US entered the southern zone after decades of Japanese colonization, the policies that led up to the war breaking out in 1950, and the atrocities committed by all sides throughout the war itself.