Korea is one nation. The Korean people are one people with a common language, history, and culture. The peaceful reunification of Korea should be the stated goal, not only for Koreans, but for all nations of the world.
The division of Korea into two areas ruled by separate governments is a vestige of the Cold War. Just as in Europe, the Soviet Union occupied East Germany and the Allied Western Powers occupied West Germany, so also in East Asia, the Soviet Union occupied the northern part of Korea and the United States occupied the South. Germany has reunified. It is now time for Korea to do the same.
On December 1,1943, the Korean independence agreement signed by the United States, China, and Great Britain at the Cairo Conference, stated, “The aforesaid three powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that ‘in due course’ Korea shall become free and independent”.
In 1945, the United Nations developed plans for trusteeship for the administration of Korea. In that same year, Japanese troops north of the 38th parallel surrendered to the Soviet Union as troops to the south surrendered to the U.S. The division was not meant to be permanent. However, in 1948, due to rising cold war tensions, two competing governments were established: the Democratic People’s Republic in the north and the Republic of Korea in the south.
The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 further exasperated the situation, resulting in the division of Korea into two hostile territories divided by a demilitarized zone (DMZ).
In spite of this, the stated aim of both governments on the Korean Peninsula is the peaceful reunification of Korea. The latest reiteration of this goal was the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in 2000, which stated:
- The South and the North have agreed to resolve the question of reunification independently and through the joint efforts of the Korean people, who are the masters of the country.
- For the achievement of reunification, we have agreed that there is a common element in the South’s concept of a confederation and the North’s formula for a loose form of federation. The South and the North agreed to promote reunification in that direction.
- The South and the North have agreed to promptly resolve humanitarian issues such as exchange visits by separated family members and relatives on the occasion of the August 15 National Liberation Day and the question of unswerving Communists serving prison sentences in the South.
- The South and the North have agreed to consolidate mutual trust by promoting balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and by stimulating cooperation and exchanges in civic, cultural, sports, health, environmental and all other fields.
- The South and the North have agreed to hold a dialogue between relevant authorities in the near future to implement the above agreements expeditiously.
Since 2001, the situation has deteriorated. Now tensions are at a peak.
But a problem can not be solved unless there is a goal and a vision.
Peaceful reunification of Korea is the goal. This goal should be clearly reaffirmed by the leaders of North and South Korea and it should also be embraced by the United States, China, Japan, and Russia as well as all members of the United Nations.
Until this goal is agreed upon by the leaders of the world there can be no worthwhile progress.
We do not want war and the maintenance of a status quo that continually foments hostility within the region is not a solution.
Obviously, there are obstacles. Some will say that the peaceful reunification of Korea is not possible.
To them I say, “With God all things are possible.”
Pray for the peaceful reunification of Korea and encourage your leaders to affirm and work toward this goal.