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N.K. Religious Leaders Make Political Comments on Nuclear War

N.K. Religious Leaders Make Political Comments on Nuclear War

Posted March. 02, 2003 22:49,   


Religious leaders from North Korea made political comments during inter-Korean ceremonies to mark the 84th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement. They said that nuclear war would damage both Koreas and that foreign powers should be resisted in religious ceremonies. The South Korean church-goers in attendance protested.

Moreover, suspicions aroused that these might have been prepared intentionally as four groups from North Korea who joined their southern counterparts in four different services, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Chondo religion made similar comments. Sixty religious leaders from North Korea came to Seoul by invitation of KCRP on Saturday and participated in several religious ceremonies separately today. They plan to return to their homes on Monday.

Secretary General of the Chosun Christian Association, Oh Kyoungwoo spoke today about nuclear war during a worship session held at Somang Church in Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul, with over 7000 followers in attendance.

“Foreign powers will not make the two Koreas reunify and the two Koreas should cooperate,” Oh said in his reply to the welcome address at the end of the session around 10:20 a.m. “The United States is threatening to carry out a preemptive strike against North Korea, but if it does, both Koreas will be damaged.”

Some followers protested and shouted their disdain over the comments. Although the minister of Somang Church tried to help him finish his address, he was interrupted and had to stop speaking. “Followers kept shouting even after the worship service ended,” said one member of Somang Church. “They said they were offended because he started the address with reunification but then went on to praise North Korea.”

At 11:00 a.m. on the same day, Vice President of Chosun Catholic Association, Kim Yuchul read his prepared address at mass held at Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul and said, “Nuclear war would bring about a terrible situation to the Korean Peninsula. We should cooperate and resist foreign powers to prevent nuclear disaster.”

Concurrently, in a joint Buddhist ceremony held at Bongeunsa Temple in Samsung-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul, Vice President of the Chosun Buddhist Association Hwang Byung-jun said, “If nuclear war breaks out, both Koreas will be destroyed. All Buddhists should try to resist foreign powers and anti-reunification forces.” In the grand central chapel of Suun Hall in Gyeungun-dong Jongno-gu Seoul, Vice President of Chosun Cheondo Religion Association Lee Mun-hwan was heard to say, “We should resist foreign powers and become a spearhead for reunification.”

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