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."