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History of Northeast Asian Peace Research Institute

    Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary has been preparing the Northeast Asian Peace Research Institute for a long time to foster human resources who can be used for peace in Northeast Asia and, inter alia, North Korea.
    On May 18, 2019, he established his ministry as Pastor Byung-Hee Yang (Young-An Church), the first Asian to receive the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy.
    Since the establishment of the Northeast Asian People's Council in 2001, Pastor Yang has been supporting various missions and missions in North Korea by supporting medicines worth 1 billion won, 2000 suits, and freezing facilities at Bongsu Bread Factory.
    On October 21, 2019, the 1st Northeast Asia Peace Forum was held jointly with Gordon Cornwell Theological Seminary of the Northeast Asian Peace Research Institute and the Northeast Asian Korean People's Association. The Korean church gave directions on what to do for peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.


1. Subject : Peaceful Unification on the Korea Peninsula and the Role of Christianity

2. Date and time : Monday 21 October 2019, 14:00-17:00

3. Venue : Menbers' Conference Room, The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry 

4. Forum Program Orde 

   (1) Opening       
      1) Opening Speech  : Jung Ik Lee, Ph.D. President of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia Former President of CBS Christian Broadcasting System

      2) Congratulatory Message  : Dr. Yang Young-sik. Former Vice Minister of Unification Co-Representative,Christian Unification Forum      

      3) Keynote Address  : Byung Hee Yang, Ph.D, President of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia, Director of the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in North Eastern Asia      

  (2) Topic Presentation      
      1)  Situation of the Korean peninsula and the role of the churches in Korea before and after unification 
      2)  Peace of the Korean peninsula and the vision of the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia 
      3)  Way to unification that is gospel-centered and peaceful 
      4)  The role of North Korean defectors in the process of achieving peace and unification on the Korean peninsula   

Opening Speech

Jung Ik Lee, D. D.

President of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia
Former President of CBS Christian Broadcasting System

    Dear ladies and gentlemen! Greetings to you. I am Jung Ik Lee and I serve as a president of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia and a chairman of Korea Evangelical Fellowship.
    I am pleased as the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia, that has been making an effort in promoting peace on the Korean peninsula and unification for a long time, is able to hold this forum together with the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a topic “Peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula and the role of Christianity“.
    First of all, I would like to express my thankfulness to Byung Hee Yang, President of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia for planning on this occasion, for praying for this and also for his devotion. I also would like to express my heartfelt thankfulness to Young Sik Yang, former Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Unification for coming and sharing a congratulatory message despite his busy schedule.
    Thank you very much Dr. Moon Young Heo, Representative of Peace Korea, Dr. Neely Gaston, Executive Director, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr. Se Jin Ko, former President of Asia United Theological University, Asian Center for Theological Studies and Mission (ACTS), Chan Il Ahn, Head of the World North Korea Research Center and other speakers for presenting about “Peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula and the role of Christianity” as well as all the guests for coming to the forum.
    At the moment, according to the changes in circumstances around the Korean peninsula and the relationship between the North and South Korea, there are hope and distrust at the same time about peaceful unification of our people. Depending on the political element, the situation is like having joy and sorrow in alternation. In this time, I think it is critical that we view peace and unification on the Korean peninsula in a broad perspective and set a macroscopic vision.
    This forum would be a productive one as experts in the field of North Korea and unification, North Korean defectors that came to South Korea to seek the freedom of faith, our leaders in Christian religion are here together to discuss about the preparation for peace and unification on the Korean peninsula.
    I am expectant and I hope that this occasion would not be a mere once-a-time event but will continue to develop so that it would serve as priming water, a catalyst for peaceful unification of the Korean race. The Ministry of Unification, that supported the forum, the Kukmin Daily Newspaper Press, Christian United Press, CTS TV Christian Broadcasting System, the staff and so on, as well as the staff of the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia, I would like to say thank you for your assistance in making it possible. Again, thank you to all the guests that came to this forum for making this a meaningful one. Thank you.

Congratulatory Message

Dr.  Yang Young-sik

Former Vice Minister of Unification
Co-Representative,Christian Unification Forum

    First and foremost, I thank God for allowing this precious international forum, to consider the mission and practice of the Korean Church for peaceful unification and national evangelization of the Korean peninsula.

    In addition, a very meaningful thanks that Rev. Yang Byung-hee was awarded Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in the United States and was commissioned to be the President of Northeast Asia Peace Research Institute as well, being able to further spur on along with Northeast Asia National Council where he has served for a long time.
As you know, Rev. Yang has served with tireless effort, with tearful prayers with other believers, in sermons, in books, helping North Korean defectors and with church, and by visiting the 3 Northeast Provinces. By planting the seeds of gospel and giving the water of free help’to vulnerable people, he has been practicing ‘loving Jesus by serving.’

     I have read the keynote speech of this forum in advance. In particular, it is worth noting the five approches to peace in the Korean peninsula and for North Korean missions, as well as the 4 practical tasks of pastoral ministry of the Korean Church in preparing for the unification era. As you can see in the resource literature, they contain vital and useful strategy guide and practical measures for seminary students, the next generation of unification missionaries, and others including the religious and academic leaders, NGO professionals and pastors with North Korean backgrounds. I encourage all of you to add your ideas to it.

    I would like to say that the mission of the divided people’s church is to fulfill the role of “the Apostle of Peae”. In other words, it is a sacred work that prevents violence and war, forgiveness and reconciliation, and sowing the seeds of the gospel in the heart of the North Koreans and giving the water of love-sharing. (1 Corinthians 3) Peace and the fruit of unification by Gospel is the work of God. Planters and fruit pickers may be different. It all must be allowed by God. Therefore, even if we may pass the harvest on to the next generation, we should do our very best in planing and watering, by uniting missionary workers and organizations in and outside of the church and in our society and nation.

    However, today’s Korean society and social reality is shameful before God. Despite the declarations in Panmunjom, Pyongyang and Singapore, the actual progress in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, inter-Korean exchanges, reconciliation and cooperation is still not optimistic. Even humanitarian aid from churches and private organizations is closed. Sadly, even the church is showing shameful act of spreading condemnation and confrontation by being divided into conservatives and progessives, instead of actively encouraging reconciliation and peace toward the South and North Korean authorities and the surrounding 4 nations in one voice.

    Meanwhile, there’s emerging issue of accountability of the Korean society and the church’s indifference and apathy following the tragic news of the defected North Korean mother and son Han Sung-ok and Kim Dong-jin’s death by starvation. No matter what the surrounding situation might be, the Korean church needs to kneel before God. Since the ‘warm southern country’is seen as the ‘cold heartless land,’it is not a time for the Korean church to proclaim the motto “Come to the Cross, come to the church”. We must proclaim the act of “visiting for the Salvation of North Korean defectors”and must continue to reach out to the North Korean defector society, which is the centerpiece of North Korean mission.

    Whatever the secular politics and circumstances, it is time for us to refine the attitude of the “Good Samaritan” according to the Word of God, the organizer of history. This means that we must approach the North Korean defectors and North Koreans within and outside of Korea more actively.
    To ‘some priests and Levites of the Korean church,’who is only focused on the robber, the Lord is warning them“Be ye the true neighbors of the North Koreans like the good Samaritan!”

    Indeed, the Korean church must consistently follow the footsteps of the Lord with the compass of the Word of Jehovah God on the road of unification mission. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, in all your way submit to him”(Proverbs 3:5-6) We must seriously reflect on the Word,“Lean not on your understanding”and “Do not take revenge but leave room for God’s wrath”and focus on unification mission. It is because I believe that this is the way to restoring the North Korean church, as well as the Korean church.

    Today, this international forum will include in-depth presentations and discussions with top Christian experts in Korean Korea and the American church, as well as leading political scientists who represent North Korean defectors.

    The discussion time is limited, but I look forward to the fresh opinions of the professionals, layman leaders, and young theologians who have dedicated themselves to the gospel unification of the Korean people.

    I hope that this Christian international forum will be a place for sharing and discussing the wisdom for the developmental strategies and practical solutions for the Korean church, peaceful unification and the restoration of the gospel in the Korean peninsula.

    Lastly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Northeast Asian Peace Research Institute of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and to the members and staff of the Northeast Asia Korean Council, who have prepared for this precious international forum with prayer and dedication.

    Thank you.

Keynote Address

Byung Hee Yang, Ph.D, D. D.

President of the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia
Director of the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in North Eastern Asia 

    A big change in economic situation is taking place on the Korean peninsula. Tense situation which almost reached its peak on the nuclear issue of North Korea, was quickly reversed. Historical events, North-South Korean summit and North American summit took place consecutively. Till we enjoy perfect peace we need to go through stages beforehand and we sometimes slightly feel anxious, but hopeful expectation for the ‘time of prosperity on the Korean peninsula’ that continues through the way of peace beyond the wall of the cold war, is increasing. 
    The biggest task is resolving the nuclear issue of North Korea and this is an extremely difficult task which must be dealt with. It was expected that the North American summit, which was held in Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam would be a point of inflection but it ended without a specific achievement. A meeting of two leaders from countries which had an unfavorable relationship was meaningful itself, but it is an undeniable fact that a lot of people were disappointed as there was an expectation that North Korea would make progress on denuclearization.
    The North American summit was an event that proved frankly that a reality of North Korea’s nuclear issue and our views regarding it mismatch. Now this is a time that we need to approach these nuclear weapons issue objectively and realistically. We need to be aware properly how nuclear weapons are physically destructive and how annihilating power of nuclear weapons is in its political engineering way. Unless people are fully aware of these, we would continue to be disappointed and confused on the journey to denuclearization.
    However, denuclearization of North Korea is not the end of North-South Korea relationship and this cannot be the ultimate goal that we are anticipating. The important goal that we have should be the one that assists in restoring the gospel of Christ all over North Korea which used to be called as Jerusalem of the East. It is our responsibility that live in this time to steadily develop the North-South Korea relationship in order to overcome the pain of reality that lies ahead of us and take a leadership role in proactively leading the way of peace and unification.
    To achieve reconciliation and peaceful unification in North-South, churches in Korea would need to be actively engaged in preparing for the time of North-South reconciliation and peaceful reunification. In the process of achieving unification, what churches in the Eastern and Western Germany showed us, tells us about a lot of lessons. Due to ideology in the Eastern and Western German systems because of the cold war, politics, economy, social issues, culture and so on, all areas became heterogenetic but churches communed with each other through the love of God and prepared for unification. In the private sector as well, churches served a role of a bridge between the Eastern and Western sides of Germany.
    Current situation on the Korean peninsula is more serious. North Korea has the same language only as South Korea. Their culture, customs, perspectives on the world and religion are completely different from ours. Just because we are one group of race, we are unable to move forward easily and this is a current situation but we need to make an effort to enter into their lives. It is important to set appropriate tasks and act on these to achieve North-South reconciliation, exchange and cooperation so that ultimately churches in Korea would make contribution in achieving unification on the Korean peninsula.
    I would like to come up with a few specific ways in approaching the issue for peace on Korean peninsula and mission work in North Korea as follows.
First of all, it is about walking in someone’s shoes. We would need to be aware of the unique situation North Korea is in before preparing the mission work there as their situation is different from South Korea where freedom is guaranteed. If we approach North Korea with our own perspectives, then we would not be able to serve there on mission work but we would not be able to approach them even and this is a reality.
     Secondly, we should refrain from approaching it in a political way. Regardless of political understanding and gain, we should approach it with historical perspectives so that we would, in all areas such as politics, economy, social issues, culture, religion and so on, be able to achieve unification. When it comes to the mission work of North Korea, when we are not politically associated and when this is carried out stand-alone, this can be most effective. Also, we should refrain from approaching it politically by taking the conservatives and progressives stance. Beyond having the ideological perspectives, we would need to have historical perspectives with a goal of having the time of unification in mind.
    Thirdly, when it comes to unification, we should not hurry and we should not give up. For unification, we need ‘time’ for recovering the homogeneity of people. Rather than having a thought that North Korea might fall down easily, by having a continuous and progressive exchange and expanding it, it is critical to create an environment where two parties would empathize.
    Fourthly, unification of people is the priority. Although it is not easy, as Jacob and Esau had to meet to resolve the issue, meeting often is important. When I visited North Korea, I felt that as I met them more often, people there as well, understood and empathized each other more. In that regard, when it comes to mission work in North Korea, rather than setting up churches straight away and sharing the gospel, sharing medicines or through bread and noodle factories alike, approaching them strategically in a socially supportive way that the residents of North Korea could physically relate to, should be prioritized.
    Fifthly, it is not about a speedy unification but the right unification. Rather than speed, direction is more important. Being quick is not everything. In fact, if direction is wrong, it could possibly be more unfortunate. We should be ready to be able to deal with culture shocks, or a feeling of relative alienation due to the gap between the rich and the poor, or preparation for tuberculosis or epidemic breakout, rather than a fast unification that seeks to achieve goals in a short period of time, I think we should approach it properly so that we would be able to have the right unification that can share the correct perception between the North and South.
    Sharing the gospel to North Korea would be a fierce spiritual warfare. Nevertheless, we need to enter into their lives. For that reason, we need to be strategically prepared. There is a saying, for one day’s victory, 10 years of preparation is needed. This means that to win in a day battle, people prepare for 10 years. God uses people that are prepared and He does not use people that only have eagerness.
    Churches of Korea that prepare for the time of unification would need to prepare these 4 things at least.
    First of all, it is a task of training the North Korean defectors to be pillars of unification. In our society, there are about 33,000 North Korean defectors. We are unable to embrace these people so how can we embrace 24 million North Korean residents? Churches of Korea need to embrace these people first. In the time of unification that could come all of a sudden, these people are foregoers that have already experienced liberal democracy of the North and South and I am certain that these people would be a valuable asset that would lessen the shock of unification.
    Secondly, it is revitalization of exchanges between the North and South Korea through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In fact, 70% of NGOs that provide for North Korea are supported by churches. In engagement in humanitarian aid project for North Korea, North Korea has been supported by religious organizations often. It was because when a humanitarian aid project for North Korea is carried out by religious organizations, relatively they tend to be less politically influenced. By supporting what the North Korean residents can relate to easily, projects that provide for the necessities of the residents so that it eases the cultural conflicts, especially projects that help North Korean society to have a favorable perception on Christianity, I am confident that these would serve as a seed in assisting them to accept Christianity without resistance.
    Thirdly, it is about preparing the unification offering. We desire to have a progressive unification and it is our hope that we would able to achieve it this way but in case the unification is achieved in a way that we did not expect, then it would put a burden on our economy and society. Separately from the government initiatives, I believe that this is a time that we need to prepare for the unification offering from the church initiatives. Churches of Korea have been praying and talking about unification but realistically they have not been able to make a big effort in it. I think by preparing for the unification offering, in the hearts of Christians, they would be able to strongly long to have a desire for unification.
    Fourthly, it is about preparation for the unification prayer meeting. What caused the walls of Berlin to fall down was prayer. In fact, in 1981, Monday prayer meeting began in Leipzig in East Germany. It continued for 9 years and it became a starting point in achieving unification. In the beginning, it started with 7 people, later a number of people that came to this prayer meeting went up exponentially. The unification of the North and South Korea too, will become possible if God lets a cease-fire line to fall down. We should not forget that the most important thing to do out of all in preparation for unification, is prayer.
     At this time, we really need to prepare for reconciliation and peace of the North, South Korea and for the time of unification on the Korean peninsula. This is a critical moment churches of Korea need to equip themselves to be able to actively lead in achieving unification on the Korean peninsula, practically provide for the need and increasing the capacity to handle it. From now on, churches of Korea need to prepare for unification that may come in any time out a sudden. With a sense of duty that Christianity will lead a time of unification, we would need to start from acting on a little thing.
    A lot of seminarians have been trained from churches of Korea and I believe this is also a providence of God. I trust that this is what God is preparing so that He would use these people as workers that would handle the time of unification. In a North and South Korea relationship, the Christian love and support are the love of Christ for people and it is a preparation for the time of unification.
     If churches of Korea can build a relationship one by one with North Korean defectors that are experiencing the realities of the North and South Korea, and help them in settling down, then these people would become the most important asset in unification and North Korea mission work. For peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula, churches of Korea would need to fulfill the role of being a ‘partner’, ‘mediator’ and ‘collaborator’.
    There are a lot of experts that predict that ‘unification can take place at any time out of a sudden’. We should not be waiting for it but we should be preparing for it. North Korean residents are like a white piece of paper, so after unification, depending on who shares the gospel first, the impact of religion could be different. Like in an Olympics event, a running contestant that runs at a 100 meter race prepares for 4 years with tears and sweat to run for a few seconds, we need to make preparations.
     To have a peaceful unification, it is our task to steadily improve on the relationship between the North and South Korea and take a lead in opening the way for peaceful and gospel-centered unification. The Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia, which is a part of a leading evangelical institution, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary of the US and with the Council of Korean People in North-East Asia, we have come together to discuss over a topic of ‘Peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula and the role of Christianity’ and this is such a meaningful opportunity. I am expectant that this academic forum would serve as a corner stone that would come up with a gospel-centered vision for the peace on the Korean peninsula and unification.
    Dr. Neely Gaston, Special Advisor to the President for Development at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and President Jung Ik Lee, Young Sik Yang, former Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Unification, Dr. Moon Young Heo, Dr. Chan Il Ahn and Dr. Se Jin Ko as well as guests, I would like to say a special thank you to you and I pray that peace and guidance of God would be with you all at all times. Thank you.

The situation on the Korean peninsula and the role of churches of Korea before and after unification

Moon Young Heo, Ph.D.
Chair-Researcher at Korea Institute for National Unification, Representative of Peace Korea

I. Meaning of recent change in the situation on the Korean peninsula : The work of God 

    2019 marks the 100th anniversary year of the 1st of March Independence Movement and it is the year that celebrates the 100th anniversary year since the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established. In the year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Provisional Government establishment of the Republic of Korea, the Korean peninsula got into a thawing season. On the Korean peninsula where it was all frozen, the spring came and ice began to melt. In 2018, when it was the 70th year since systems were divided, it began with the Pyeongchang Olympics that was held in Korea. Due to a continuous development of nuclear weapons of North Korea, rumors about the war were spread throughout the Korean peninsula. People were concerned about Pyeongchang Olympics because of possible terrorism. A grand-scale North Korean performance team, cheering squad and everyone who participated in the competition made it to the Olympics. Women’s hockey team was set up as one united team and it was sublimated as Peaceful Olympics. On the 27th of April, during the inter-Korean summit talks that took place at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom, it was declared that ‘the Korean peninsula would be nuclear-free through the complete denuclearization’. On the 12th June, North Korea and the US summit talks took place in Singapore and they agreed on ‘the Korean peninsula that does not have nuclear weapon through complete denuclearization’, thus making a starting point in resolving the nuclear issue of North Korea. The root cause of nuclear weapon issue of North Korea which did not get resolved for the last 25 years and the way to the peaceful unification which was our long-cherished desire of our people for 73 years, were found. 

    But the One in charge of our history is God and it should be remembered. For sure, ‘Driver Theory of the Korean peninsula’ and excellent diplomacy of President Jae In Moon, ‘Strategies to set up a prosperous nation’ of High Commissioner Jung Eun Kim and his courageous decisiveness, along with ‘the highest pressure and the biggest involvement’ policy and propulsion of President Trump, the issue resolution of the Korean peninsula are beginning to be prepared. And pressuring North Korea and assurance of Premier Xi Jinping also made a contribution. But the One in charge of history is God. The first driver of history if God. Human beings are the second driver. It is because the One that controls a matter of life and death, happiness and misery of human beings (2 Samuel 2:6) and the rise and the fall of the nation (Jeremiah 18:6-10) is God. A man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9, Jeremiah 33:2-3).

      1) The country name, the Republic of Korea, the national anthem, the Korean national anthem, the national flower, the roses of Sharon, out of all the national symbols that we use nowadays, these are the ones that have been decided at the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai. At the time at the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai, a lot of Christians were actively at work. President Syngman Rhee, Prime Minister Donghwi Yi, Home Secretary Chang-ho An, Director of the Presidential Office, Goo Kim, Woon-hyung Lyuh and so on, out of all the figures that have been identified with their religious beliefs, about 62% were found to be Christians.

      2) Peace Korea has been holding ‘New Jireh Peace Prayer Meetings’ for the past 13 years for unification through the gospel and the world mission. In 2017, when the future of Korea seemed unfavorable as the situation was chaotic both domestically and internationally, as well as there were rumors about the crisis and possible outbreak of war, the Lord gave us the theme verse in 2018. It was ‘Jehovah that establishes’ (Jeremiah 33:2-3). On the 8th of May 2017, missionary to North Korea from Peace Korea, Hak Song Kim was detained while serving in agricultural ministry at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Together with about 300 prayer warriors that fasted a meal a day and prayed as well as 50 prayer warriors that fasted for a whole day and prayed, they continued to pray for missionary Kim and for 9 other detained people. Within 7 days of praying, brother Warmbier was released. 3 months after, Pastor Hyun Soo Lim was released. On the 10th of May 2018, about a year after, missionary Hak Song Kim was released, together with missionaries Dong Chul Kim and Sang Duk Kim that were detained earlier. As believers kept on praying without ceasing, God answered. Still, Korean national missionaries Jung Wook Kim, Gook Ki Kim and Choon Gil Choi, as well as a Chinese national missionary Moon Suk Jang are detained there. In the future, in the process of initiating the inter-Korean summit talks, we need to continue to pray for our government so that we would be able to bring back these missionaries.

    We should not be excited. Now we have just made a step of peace forward. For the last 74 years, the communization unification strategies that have been maintained by North Korea have not fundamentally changed. Their way of maintaining the system which is by ‘control and brainwashing’ that control the residents in North Korea, remains the same. Our society also achieved success and we have freedom, but we would not say that we are happy. Both South and North Korea need to change through the gospel. We need to take a step forward in this long journey of unification through the gospel. ‘Complete denuclearization’, ‘improvement of human rights’, ‘liberalization’ of North Korea and the way to realize ‘justice and love’ through ‘holiness, devotion, honesty’ in our society would be tough. Moreover, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Those spiritual forces of evil would distract us whenever there is a chance. We need to continue to do calmly what we need to do first.

    Now, for unification of Korea, Christians need to stand in the center and make an effort to serve in love and with sacrifice. In this regard, here we will come up with Christian ways of dealing unification and we will do a quick overview of the direction that churches can follow.

II. How are we going to view the issue of unification on the Korean peninsula?

    1. Characteristic of division structure of the Korean peninsula : 3 layers of division 

    How was a division structure of the Korean peninsula formed which caused our people to live through life’s ordeal in the 20th century, and still restricting us in the beginning of the 21st century? Division structure of the Korean peninsula went through three steps and was formed by reiteration.

    A. Division of country : Formation of double triangular relation which is antagonistic

    On the 15th of August 1945, based on the 38th parallel of northern latitude, the US and Soviet Army occupied the areas on the north and the south respectively and by this, ‘division of country’ which was the first stage, took place. Later from an international perspective, ideological military confrontation of the US and the Soviet Union and due to the Korean War, the Southern Triangle Relations which are made up of liberal US, Japan and South Korea and the Northern Triangle Relations which are made up of communist Soviet Union, China and North Korea, were set up. As a result of it, on Korean peninsula, cold-war division structure of double triangular relation was formed and there was a confrontation between the liberalist camp and the communist camp. Thus, on this level, overcoming the division structure means conversion of system from having confrontation between the liberalist and the communist of both parties alliance relation to having normal relations between both parties as well as a cooperative system of multilateral regional security. As South Korea established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1990 and with China in 1992, now North Korea’s normalization of relation with the US and Japan and realignment of alliance (South Korea, the US as well as North Korea, China/Russia) would be the key content.

B. Division of system : Establishment of armistice system

On the 15th of August 1948, the government of the Republic of Korea was established and on the 9th of September, ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ government was established. With that, the second stage, ‘system (sovereignty/government) division’ took place. Therefore, from the South and North Korea relationship point of view, establishment of antagonistic government, Korean War and countless provocation and retribution, South and North Korea were in a state of truce or armistice or cold-war relation of military confrontation which could be defined as an armament race and this was built as a feature. Therefore, overcoming division structure at this level is done by political and military reconciliation and cooperation in a form of unification by absorption or turning military force, communization unification seeking relation to peaceful coexistence and unification by agreement seeking relation. Meanwhile, South and North Korea have accomplished the issuing of the Joint Statement on the 4th of July 1972. South and North Korea Basic Agreement was made in 1991. The South-North Joint Declaration was set in 2000. Putting these into practice could be set as a main agenda in overcoming the system division.

C. Division of heart : Confrontation of ‘enemy’ and ‘foe’

    Due to a North Korean invasion of the South, Korean War went on for about 3 years. As Korea experienced the tragedy of fratricidal war, the third stage, ‘heart (people/heart) division’ took place lastly. Therefore, from a domestic point of view, National Security Law and anticommunist education of South Korea and the Criminal Law and idea education of North Korea caused the cold war system of ideological confrontation to be strengthened. Thus, overcoming the division structure at this level is done through developing a system that embraces mutual systems and through peace education so that restoration of compound homogeneity is sought. In other words, within both South and North Korea, pushing to enable of disable the cold-war law and system as well as implementing peace education and also it indicates that it is resolving the pain of dispersed families from South and North Korea and so on.

    Therefore, division structure of the Korean peninsula is a mixture as international, political power relations control it, people’s struggle for power and psychological hostility was accumulated from fratricidal war, fixated due to the domestic political demand from South and North Korea respectively. Thus, overcoming division structure on the Korean peninsula is resolving the division of country, division of system and division of heart on the Korean peninsula. In other words, it is systemizing peace on the Korean peninsula and cooperation of South and North Korea in order to lay the foundation stone of peaceful unification.

2. Meaning of division structure on the Korean peninsula : 5 dimensional issue

    Our division has a 5 dimensional meaning. First of all, on the international scale, it is where a hegemonic confrontation is made between the US which is the only superpower verses challenging country, China. On a regional level in East-Asia, it has a meaning as it is a geographical confrontation line of the maritime forces the US, Japan verses continental power, China and Russia. From Korean ethic point of view, it is a line that divides people between South Korea (Republic of Korea) and North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). Domestically in South Korea, this becomes a line where a various forces of people would struggle to seize power. Recently, this issue has become an agenda which utters division and causes the Korean society to fall into a chaotic condition. Lastly, and more than anything else, on a spiritual level, this can be said as a spiritual war line between an area where people believe in the Kingdom of God verses an area where people do not believe in the Kingdom of God. When the 5 dimensional multi-solution gets established and implemented, our people for sure as well as all nations that that are linked to the issue of unification on the Korean peninsula directly or indirectly can all live together.

3. Disturbance to division structure on the Korean peninsula : 2 shocks

    There were two shocking events that changed the division structure of the Korean peninsula that were like this. The first one was 1988 Seoul Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. It was a complete Olympics event that took place in 12 years, since 1976 Montreal Olympics and all the camps of the East and West participated. It was a worldwide festival and only North Korea and Cuba did not attend. In Seoul where it was all ruined due to 25th of June War, in 35 years, a celebration of dream was held while everyone of the world paid attention to it. Everyone of the world saw that roses bloomed from the pile of ashes. To the communist camp, this would have been a shock. After this in 1989, starting with the fall of Eastern Germany’s Berlin Walls, the socialist camp of Eastern Europe began to collapse. On the 3rd of October 1990, Germany accomplished unification, on the 25th of December 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved. As a result, on a world level, the cold war order fell apart.

    The second one was Pyeongchang Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. After Seoul Olympics, it was held in South Korea in 30 years’ time. This time, North Korea participated as well. It became Olympics which the Korean people co-hosted. Rumors about terrorism and war disappeared. After this, new order was explored on the Korean peninsula and East Asia as Inter-Korea Summit was held in April and North-Korea-US Summit took place in June. Especially, the North Korea-US Summit took place for the first time in 73 years since the system of North Korea was established and in this regard, it was a shock to the situation in the East Asian region.

    In summary, a layer of ice that surrounded Korean peninsula, in other words, the cold war structure of Korean peninsula was formed in two types of levels. First of all, on a people level, due to division of land in 1945, division of system in 1948, a southward invasion by the North in 1950, people were divided due to fratricidal war and a layer of ice on the Korean peninsula was formed. On international level, US-Soviet Union cold war was intensified worldwide, the triangular cooperation system of North Korea, the Soviet Union and China alliance was formed in East Asia. Against it, the triangular cooperation system of South Korea, the US and Japan alliance was formed. So it can be seen as 2 layers of triangular, antagonistic relationships were formed and this resulted in a layer of ice in East Asia. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia entered that place and geographically, 2 layers, triangular, antagonistic relationships continued on. But due to Pyeongchang Olympics, the Inter-Korean Summit as well as North Korea-US Summit, relationships between the South and North as well as North Korea-US relationships improved, a layer of ice on the Korean peninsula and in East Asia started to melt together. It is good to have a spring season. But the problem is that it is a dangerous time. South Korea that was on the ice could fall into water if things go wrong. To survive, you need to be able to swim or you need to prepare a boat. Preparing a boat means maintaining the South Korea-US alliance and strengthening it. Knowing how to swim means that you have power to look after yourself. It can be implied that in any kind of situation, South Korea needs to solidify its power to defend its country and protect it. Moreover, it means being well-equipped in politics, economy and the power to socially integrate.

III. New direction of unification : Unification through the gospel and a spiritually strong nation

    Now this is a time to seriously seek 3.0 unification paradigm for peaceful unification which is a long-cherished wish of our people. During 70 years of division, we made an effort in approaching this issue multilaterally to overcome order of division and establish an unified nation. Our effort in achieving unification can be classified into 2 types of unification paradigm. The first one is 1.0 unification paradigm war unification theory. This is a 1950 to 1960 cold war period’s hostile fight unification theory. During 1950 Korean war experience, we horribly experienced how costly the unification by war is in reality. In war period, casualties of the South exceeded 2 million 60 thousand people (860 thousand died, 1 million 20 people were injured) and casualties of the North exceeded 3 million people (1 million 20 people died, 1 million 80 people were injured). It has been said that casualties of Korean people exceeded 5 million people. People realized that the result of it was not unification but merely the solidification of division has set in. Also people realized that the unification issue on the Korean peninsula is not only our Korean issue of the South and North but it is an international issue as the national benefit of 4 neighboring countries is linked.

    The second is a theory of 2.0 unification paradigm dialogue. It began in 1970s when it was a period of defusing tension on the Korean peninsula and through 1990s post-cold war era. Up to current time, this is a dialogue unification theory by appeasement. Through South-North dialogue, we could reach up to a period of defusing tension. However, we were confronted with nuclear experiment and weapon development of mass destruction of North Korea. The Sunshine Policy (moderatism) and the theory of the wind (tough policy) which were intensely unfolded since the 1990s showed the limit as it did not initiate North Korea to change even though these were strongly insisted. Two theories have extremely different stances but nevertheless, when it comes to thinking of it, it is in one framework. The first one is that if government treats North Korea in a warm way then they would also behave in a forward-looking way and thus would reach unification through agreement. The latter one was that if we push it firmly, North Korea, as a result, would give in and if they do not give in, then they would be collapsed. But, all of these two theories had a view that the policies for North Korea by Korean government would initiate policy changes of North Korea. The North Korea policies of the Korean government is the independent variable and the policy changes of North Korea is an independent variable. In this regard, it uses the same framework. However, the policy changes of North Korea do not follow our policies only.

    Now it is almost the completion stage of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. We need to explore 3.0 unification paradigm theory through the gospel, implement and act on it. We need to come up with a creative balanced unification theory and this needs to be a theory of unification through the gospel. These are the suggestions on basic direction as follows.

    3) Unification paradigm can be defined as an overall viewpoint about what kind of unified country will be accomplished, what kind of value will be sought and about how that country would be established. In this writing, we view an image of the unified future related to unification of the Korean peninsula, ways of achieving unification, strategies on unification as key elements of unification paradigm. Moon Young Heo, ‘Structure analysis for realization of unification on a long-range basis’ (Seoul, Korea Institute for National Unification, 2014) p.12

1. Basic direction of unification through the gospel

A. Creatively : Korean type unification through the gospel

    First of all, we need to learn from countries that achieved unification first. After the Second World War, under the East-West cold war system, there were 5 countries altogether that were divided and were in a conflict relationships. Out of these countries, 3 countries achieved unification. In 1975, Vietnam achieved ‘absorption unification by force’ led by North Vietnam. But, unification by communist force in a form of a war resulted in devastation of land, destruction of manufacturing facilities, enormous amount of casualties and increased level of hostility while having an enormous unification after-effects in lack of freedom and poverty. Germany achieved ‘transfer unification by agreement’ with the Western Germany in the center in 1990. 2) While Germany was divided, Western Germany did not insist on unification, but with ‘the second in command diplomacy (No. 2 Diplomacy), they had a favorable situation for unification and through continuous exchange cooperation, they achieved to have a ‘friendly-West Germany’ perception by East Germany residents, and accomplished peaceful unification. But, integration process after unification makes us to regret. Political integration was done well within a year, economic integration was successfully done based on achievement within 10 years period of time, but even though 26 years have passed since, social integration is expected to take 30 more years in the future. In case of Yemen, with ‘after unification by agreement (1989), civil war and reunification (1994)’ processes, they achieved unification. But after unification, by parties that were dissatisfied in the process of integration, along with political and social chaos, they got in to a civil war. Through reviewing the divided countries’ unification cases, we can make the most of advantages of being a ‘late runner’ in preparation for unification. It is only an object lesson. These are not model cases which we must follow for sure.

    Then, how should we set the way of unification for us? We can learn that unification of our people should not be an unification by force but a peaceful unification. It should not be an one-way transfer unification but it should be a mutual unification by agreement. It should not be an unification achieved by leadership only but it should be an unification achieved by its people of the nation. And when it comes to unification by agreement, the order of it should not be from politics to economy, then unification of society and culture. The order of it should be from culture, society, then economy and then unification of the politics. In that way, members of the nation can participate in it and the historical inheritance in each area where divided South and North Korea have built up over 70 years on its own, can be converged, transcended and developed. It is not about national unification first, integration of people later. There is a need to actively seek ways to go about integration of people first and unification later.

    But for us Christians, 2.5 million North Korean’s salvation issue is more important than anything else. For this, first of all, the leadership of North Korea needs to be able to accept the gospel. Otherwise, too much blood might be shed. Therefore, in the process of achieving unification of the South and North, the exchange of the gospel needs to be prioritized. It is because in that way, the issue of salvation of 25 million North Korean compatriots and health issue of society of unified Korea can be solved properly. For sure, if we think about the conditions in North Korea and current relationship between South and North Korea, this is impossible realistically. But that is why we need to go ahead with it that way. The One that enables what is impossible is God. Great figures achieve great tasks, but God enables what is impossible.

B. Transformationally : Biblically, spiritually great nation

    4) There are 2 reasons as to how the Eastern and the Western Germany’s peaceful unification was possible. First one is that the suzerain Soviet Union was losing its power and they could not support and control the Eastern Germany. The second reason was that the Eastern German residents wanted to enter into the Western system. In case of the Korean peninsula, China which is a country behind the scenes is not losing its power but taking a leap to be a G-2. Also residents in North Korea do not fully want to enter into the South Korean system still. Therefore, it is difficult to mechanically apply the German style unification model to the Korean peninsula.

    Transformational unification policy needs to be established and carried forward. From East-West Germany’s confrontation, West Germany centered unification was achieved by Brandtian style policy. From the US-Soviet Union cold-war confrontation, downfall of Soviet Union was achieved by Reaganism policy. We need to seek unification policy that overcomes all the limits of these policies. The Sunshine Policy is the one that imitates the first one and the Hard line Policy is the one that imitates the latter one. These all exposed the limits. New unification (North Korea) policy’s direction needs to be changed through cooperation and pressure.

    As a goal, let us aspire to be a spiritually strong power and a peacefully great nation. Beyond China which has the largest population, beyond Russia, which has the largest territory, beyond Japan, which has the strongest economy and beyond the US, the one and only great nation, let us work together so that our nation would become a spiritually great nation. Let us aim to be a great nation with peace. Let us not become Pax Koreana that promotes peace by military power but let us make our nation to be Shalom Koreana that promotes peace through spiritual service.

    In regards to strategies, we need to make preparations for every possible situation according to changes that take place in North Korea. But we need to refrain strategies based on hopeful ideas or extreme hatred. For instance, a rumor on North Korea that it would collapse earlier than expected or an open founding of ‘Jung Eun Kim Beheading Unit’ is not realistic, and it is not helpful for peaceful unification. Surely, about North Korea’s continuous nuclear weapon development, as long as neighboring countries’ essential benefit is considered, we need to continue to pursue firm policies. Based on objective evaluation about the situation in North Korea, we need to improve on our unification capacity and we should not establish steps that are situational responsive but need to establish situational leading policies. We need to be able to have unification that is transformative. Whether it is a theory about spreading the South Korean system or a theory that complements systems of South and North Korea, beyond these, let us seek the ways to approach it in a South and North Korea transformative way based on justice, love and peace. As Christians, let us not try hard to change the other party, North Korea, but let us make an effort in realizing the Kingdom of God of justice, love and peace, starting from our church and from our society. Then, God would allow us to achieve unification through the gospel as a gift. The issue is not in North Korea. The point is that we are not yet fully prepared to have unification.

    When it comes to means of accomplishing it, let us carry it out by taking part in. We should not stress regulation and pressure only but we need to open the door. We need to be able to get response from North Korea and we need to ask the 4 neighboring nations’ cooperation. We need to be able to work together with neighboring countries, then it would allow us to achieve peaceful unification without shedding of the blood.

C. Futuristically : A win-win approach of the world peace

    Let us approach it in the futuristic view. The confrontation of continental and marine forces that surround the Korean peninsula is unchanged. In fact, due to the strategies of the US to keep the world’s supreme stance in the 21st century and conflict with China’s one road strategies in setting up a well-off society in the 21st century as well as Japan’s military strengthening strategies that claim to support the leader nation and due to Russia’s Act East Policy based strategies in restoring its supremacy, there is a possibility that friction may get even stronger. But East Asia should not be ruined because of the war, but with healthy Christian communities, it needs to be developed in peace and joint prosperity.

    In this context, an effort in setting up a self-reliant national defense capability and strong Korea-US alliance need to be continued. In turbulent East-Asian situation, in order to accomplish peaceful unification, strong national defense is important more than anything else. Therefore, deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system needs to be carried out thoroughly. In fact, it is a shame that it was pushed forward when neighboring countries like China had concerns and it took place while solutions to concerns of neighboring countries and agreement by people were lacking. However, as North Korea continues to have nuclear weapon experiment and long-distance missiles launch and so on, we cannot give up on it as it is to defend ourselves from mass destruction weapon development by North Korea and this is an agenda agreed by the governments of Korea and the US as well as that this is directly related to our defense issue.

    On the other hand, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan needs to be reviewed more carefully. Excessive military cooperation reinforcement of Korea, the US and Japan could result in reinforcement of North Korea, China and Russia’s the northern region triangular relation and it is possible to be like the time of cold-war again. This could lead to division of the Korean people and division of the Korean Peninsula could become permanent, and this could be a retrogressive move for an effort for peaceful unification which was our people’s task for 70 years. In the future, our unification (toward abroad) policy direction should not be a retrogressive consolidation of Korea, the US, Japan triangular cooperation system. For peaceful unification and for the peace in East-Asia, on a world-scale level, Korea, the US, China triangular cooperation system and on an East-Asian regional level, Korea, China and Japan triangular cooperation policy, through these policies, a forward-looking plan needs to be put into action. Beyond 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Korea, let us assist Japan to host Tokyo Winter Olympics in 2020, assist China to host Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 successfully and solidify the peace in East-Asia.

    Let us make a new history now. At a point where the continental forces and marine forces encounter, let us get away from being a target being and soar to become a principal agent. While we are geographically in a state of confrontation, we should not stay any longer as a scapegoat of great powers. Like ‘the Roman Empire’ that led Europe and Africa centered on the Mediterranean Sea, let us develop into a ‘nation of land and sea’. We should not just solve the issues on the Korean peninsula, but moreover, let us have a will to make contributions for cooperative development in five great oceans and six continents for the humanity beyond the peace and prosperity in East-Asia. We should be able to solve the issues of unification progressively.

Let us prepare for the G-3 period. We need to pass over G-8, G-5 and G09. In fact, the great nations are influencing the world, the US and China are having a hegemonic war, these are something that we should not overlook. We need to become a spiritually strong nation by having unification through the gospel, so together with the US and China, we need to open an era that makes an effort to work on the peace of the world and the evangelization movement in the world. Korea that is unified would become bigger than Germany that has a population of 80 million people which is the 4th largest among OECD nations. Now, we should not just criticize about coming of storm and blame on the leadership of the nation only. It is not the time to be concerned about the cost of the unification and remain divided. It is not the time that we overlook a hegemonic war between the US and China. It is a time that we become an unified Korea and together with the US and China, we need to be make an effort in working for the world peace and evangelization of the world.

2. Strategies in fulfilling unification through the gospel : 5 stages of peace

    Now, South Korea needs to establish and push ahead grand national strategies for peace and unification. We need to be able to pursue general national goals well as well which are survival, security, prosperity and prestige. We should not neglect unification which is a special goal for the nation. Also, we need to develop Pyeongchang Olympics to be Olympics of peace, Olympics of culture and Olympics of spirituality. We need to make this as a starting point of amazing unification by the gospel history in the next 15 years. We need to overcome a socio-economic polarization effect and prepare for the new constitution system that would welcome unification while being competent in a competition among neighboring countries. For this, I hope we would begin to make such an effort as follows.

A. Keeping peace

    Based on strong national security, we need to keep peace. To stop a nuclear attack and armed provocation, Korea model triaxis strike system (preemptive attack called Kill Chain, Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), Korea Massive Pushment and Retaliation (KMPR) should be set in place early so that we would be able to secure independent deterrent force against North Korea. Through removing defense corruption, we need to push ahead national defense reform and strengthening the military power at the same time in order to build up strong independent security posture. Through strengthening of Korea-US alliance and keeping it, we would be able to balance the fear for the nuclear weapon of North Korea. With a balanced criss-cross diplomacy and double layer track policy (Two Track Policy) we would draw favorable support from 4 neighboring countries. By realizing an integrated society based on fairness and justice, we would encourage people to feel proud about the fatherland and have a sense of loyalty toward it, thus helping people to be accustomed to voluntarily having awareness of national security.

B. Making peace

We need to establish grand strategies for unification in order to make peace and unification. We need to overcome difficulties and for peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula and peaceful prosperity in East-Asia, beyond policy toward North Korea and policy for unification, we need to prepare and carry out grand national strategies. Regarding the nuclear development of North Korea, we need to consider key national interests of neighboring countries and continue to go after a firm pressure policy. We should not come up with measures that are situational responsive based on hopeful thinking but based on the objective evaluation of situation in North Korea. We should establish situation-driven policy so that we would achieve unification that is transformative. When it comes to the structure of the unification issue on the Korean peninsula, the relationship between the US and China is important more than anything else. If the relationship between the US and China is good, then this can put a pressure on North Korea and enable them to be changed. If the relationship between the US and China is not good, under the protection of China, North Korea would continue to go on with their policy. In the worst case scenario, the US can prevent or have a preemptive attack on North Korea. As for us, we need to make an effort to set up a favorable triangular cooperation relationship between South Korea, the US and China.

C. Building peace

Let us prepare to have an unified Korea that that has established social justice, national harmony and is high-class. Life that failed to compete against continuous competition, people in poverty that are frustrated because ‘winner-takes-all’, materialism, ill social structure that has been stained by corruption, political parties that lost leadership abilities due to chronic competition, extreme ideological conflict, the older generation and the next generation which have been cut off from each other due to generational conflict which is the most intensive in the world, if we cannot reform South Korea that has all of these tasks, every window of opportunity could be shut again. When we realize a society of justice and when we get to equip the power on our own, peaceful South Korea can lead peaceful unification and the peaceful world.

D. Sharing peace

Let unified Korea make peace and let us share it with all the nations around the world together. Let us give thanks for we hosted Pyeongchang Olympics successfully with North Korea in 2018 which was held 70 years after the system division took place and we were able to resume the road for the South-North reconciliation and cooperation. In 2020, which is the 70th year anniversary since the division took place, let us open the way for the South-North alliance. In 2023, which is the 70 years after the ceasefire, let us seek to conclude an agreement on a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula. At the same time, for creating peace in East-Asia, let us host 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as peaceful Olympics. In 2020, through successful hosting of Tokyo Winter Olympics in Japan and in 2022, Beijing Winter Olympics in China, let us make peace together in North-East Asia by Korea, Japan and China. Through 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, 2028 LA Summer Olympics, which have been confirmed, let us pray for 2032 Pyeongyang Summer Olympics to be hosted in unified Korea. In any case, Pyeongchang Olympics would be a starting point in changing the next 15 years’ order of the Korean peninsula and of the world to be a peaceful one.

E. Serving peace

Let us think about the mission of the human history that has been given to us. We need to realize Shalom Coreana through serving. It is not about making peaceful Pax Koreana based on force. Unified Korea is not a country that we only seek to desire our wealth and honor. It is a nation that serves all nations with the gospel. It is not a nation that promotes peace through conquest achieved by force. Our nation needs to be a nation that achieves peace through service for the love of Jesus Christ. It is not a nation that is prevalent in the Crusader mentality but a nation that is fully filled with the spirit of cross. It is about becoming a nation that shares the love of Jesus to all nations of this world and to people that are vulnerable. Especially, it is about becoming an unified Korea that serves economically weak nations, nations that have not been socially developed a lot, nations that are having difficulties due to a war, nations that are developed but that have lost the sense of direction, through the gospel.

I. Tasks to action for churches of Korea

In the past period, churches of Korea were together with people in times of hardship and also glory. Together with Seo In Kwon (Sang Ryun Seo, Kyung Jo Seo and so on) that used to be heavily involved in mission work based in Manchuria in 1883, missionaries (Underwood, Appenzeller and so on) shared the gospel in 1985 and this is how the church was set up in Korea. After this, when the Korean Empire was collapsing, churches focused on modernization of the nation. In the Japanese colonial era, churches focused on independence movement, after independence, people managed to establish the Republic of Korea and worked on industrialization, democratization and so on. Every time, churches managed to fulfill the periodic calling and did their best to save souls and participate in the movement activities for the kingdom of God.

But, churches of Korea that used to be together with people, now seem to have lost a sense of direction. Due to industrialization, democratization and as the fruit of evangelism, we did not use material blessings, the power and revival for the kingdom of God and for His righteousness. We had a look that we justified our greed and sinfulness with the prosperity gospel and episcopal belief that faith would make people succeed. We had to put the love of God into action based on the gospel, for salvation of the North Korean compatriots that were going through suffering, for peace in North-East Asia and for the world mission. But we were engrossed in domestic political ground that has been split into pieces due to ideological, geographical, social and generational conflicts, we missed to make a voice like of prophets and missed to serve like disciples.

1. Basic direction

    First of all, let us restore to have a balance and transcendence. (Joshua 1:7-9) Let us not turn from it to the right or to the left and let us stand firm on the Word of God. Right now, our society has fallen into a chaotic condition beyond division. There is not only the left and right ideological conflict. Geographical conflicts between the southeastern region and the southwestern region of Korea, 1:99 social conflicts, conflicts between generations and between gender and so on, the nation has been divided into pieces. Such biased, divided aspects have been reflected in the religious world as well. Far left parties that believe in the theory that North Korea should be supported and extremists that are radically far right that are pro North Korea conquest theory need to repent as they are causing division in churches of Korea and forcing churches of Korea to fight against each other. They need to turn back from quoting the Bible in order to strengthen their ideological stance and using the prayer as their weapons. The way to heal the divided society and unite is when the churches firstly forgive each other, embrace each other, and restore the relationship by considering one another. And this will begin when churches unite to be the one in the Word. Moreover, based on the Word of God, we need to make use of balanced policy which has not been biased to the right or to the left. Based on the foundation of national unity, we need to be able to initiate cooperation between South and North Korea and draw support from the international society so that we would be able to place a cornerstone for the way of peace and unification. We need to realize that unification issue on the Korean peninsula is a structural issue that has been formed over a long period of time and make sure to understand that extreme right totalitarianism (Nazism, fascism, militarism and so on) or extreme left communism (Marx-Leninism), extremism of both-ways are not helpful at all. We should not view the issue of unification from the 1st dimensional point of view only, which regards that it is about the conflict between the left and the right. Let us solve the issue of unification by establishing the three-dimensional point of view that looks at the past, present and the future as well as before and after chronological context and looking altogether at the vertically relational context of heaven, earth and man.

    Secondly, let us practise love. (1st John, 4:21) The attitude of our people toward North Korea needs to be changed. Still in our society, there are a lot of people that regard North Korea in the perspectives of mockery, contempt and overthrow. This kind of attitude does not bring any benefit to reconciliation, unification and integration of people in unified Korea. In our attitude, we should turn from the South and North confrontation conclusive attitude to an win-win attitude. Let us forgive but not forget. (Isaiah 43:18, 46:9) And let us love. Let us not get too hung up on the resentment, hatred and detestation anymore because of what happened in history such as Korean War, countless conflicts between South and North Korea. Nevertheless, let us be mindful of the cause and background of such events, so that we would not have the same instance from happening repeatedly. If we think about the country of North Korea, it surely is not easy to forgive them as they caused the Korean War and countless armed provocation. They kidnapped innocent people, shoot tourists, a South Korean warship called Cheonan was sunk and a small island called Yeonpyeong Island was attacked by North Korea. But if we think about 23 million North Korean compatriots that are moaning under a communist system, we cannot forget about them due to the issue of salvation and the dignity of man. The Republic of Korea was developed based on ‘freedom’ and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea was developed based on ‘equality’. It is very difficult for these two to become one. But philanthropy, in other word, in love, two can meet together. With the cross and the love of Jesus Christ, this issue can be solved. When were yet God’s enemies, Jesus came to us and solved the issue of sin instead of us. About the Lord that led us to the pathway of life, we need make an effort to share about the Lord to the North Korean compatriots in the way that Jesus did. (1st John 4:11) For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (1st John 4:20)

    Thirdly, let us live together in unity. (Psalms 133:1) The 21st century is also called as an era of network. In the process of achieving mission work in North Korea and unification through the gospel, we could think about 5 channels mainly which we can make use of. There is a main gate (front gate) mission through contacting and exchange, cooperation with 「Christian Federation of North Korea」, a back gate (back door) mission through evangelization of the North Korean defectors that are wandering on the field around Manchuria in China, a side gate (side door) mission through engaging in aid project for North Korea by international organizations like Eugene Bell Foundation, World Vision, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and so on, upper gate mission through a various media source like Far East Broadcasting Company and Christian Broadcasting System, a spiritual gate mission through early morning prayer meetings, late night prayer meetings, fasting prayer and praying for a special prayer point within a set timeframe and so on. A lot of mission organizations and churches are committed in serving in this area of ministry. But the limit is that they are having their own battle. It seems that they are all running their own little stores. We need to restore ourselves about consciousness (1st Corinthians 12:13) that the body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts. We need to make an effort together so that we would accomplish togetherness completely as we have been called to be one in one hope (Ephesians 4:4).

2. Action Plan

A. Towards unification of hearts : Spreading of love, prayer movement for North Korea in order to boost the will for unification

    First of all, let us repent. More than anything else, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah pointed out that confessing of our sins is the most important thing out of all. These people confessed about all of their sins and their ancestors’ faults. They asked for God to have compassion on them. They asked God to forgive them and free them. Their prayers were all answered. We need to repent for our faults, as we did not love our compatriots and sinned for having a division for a prolonged period of time on the Korean peninsula. We need to repent about the fact that we relied on the powerful nations more than we relied on God. We need to repent that we hated and abhorred North Korean compatriots. We need to repent that we accepted secular ideas, values more highly than the kingdom of God and took these more seriously than the kingdom of God.

    Also, let us forgive and be forgiven. Let us not be obsessed any longer about resentment, hatred and abhorrence because of the Korean War and countless provocation by North Korea. We need to understand that they were also a victim from a worldwide cold-war system and an era of division and we need to forgive them. Also in this process, we need to remember that during the Korean War as well as during a time of conflict, we also caused numerous North Korean compatriots’ casualties. We actively need to discuss about a task of asking for forgiveness from North Korean compatriots.

    Actively, let us love the North Korean compatriots and let us make an effort to gain their hearts. In order to fulfill the role of a peacemaker, churches of Korea, as a church of people that transcends the system of South and North Korea, we need to develop the capability of loving the cross. For sure, it is difficult to tolerate North Korea that committed evil such as the Korean War, countless armed provocation, kidnapping people, shooting tourists, blowing up Cheonan and shelling on Yeonpyeong Island. The Republic of Korea that developed its nation based on the value of ‘freedom’ and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that promoted its system development based on the value of ‘equality’, so it is extremely tough for these two to become one. However, ‘philanthropy’, in other word, ‘love’, in this value, two can meet. Through the cross and through absolute love of Jesus Christ only, this issue can be solved. When we were God’s enemies yet, Jesus came to us and bore our sins instead of us. Following the Lord that led us to the way of life, we need to share the love of Jesus to the North Korean compatriots. Not by conquest and dominance of the Crusades mentality, but with love and in service with the spirit of the cross, we need to arise and serve again. Based on the cross of Christ and practice of love, we should prevent provocation of North Korea. We need to make use of policies that would win the hearts of North Korean residents and we need to make an effort. We need to make it clear that our policies have a purpose in enhancing the quality of North Korean residents’ lives. When we serve North Korean compatriots in love, our own selves and our society as well would overflow with love as well. Then, this means that peaceful unification that is gospel-centered, is about to be complete.

    In this context, let our churches, along with the government, carry forward a resolution for the lives, human rights, guidance, humanitarian, people issues of North Korea side by side. (Romans 12:18-21) The issue of human rights is an effort in improving the human rights of North Korean residents including Christians that have been detained in the special dictatorship quarantine area. A humanitarian aid effort is an attempt in providing food and medical supplies and alike for North Korean residents including the elderly and the young children on the verge of starvation that get victimized first due to financial difficulties and the difficulty of obtaining food. When it comes to the people issue, an effort is made to find out about whether the dispersed family members are still alive, especially those of the old age, contacting them and providing them with an opportunity to meet, and also an effort is made to repatriate abductees and war captives detained in North Korea. Assisting the lives is an effort to evangelize 25 million North Korean compatriots so that they would come to know the gospel and to be saved. It is an effort in carrying out the mission work. We should not condemn Christian organizations that give humanitarian assistance as ‘the Reds who are extreme leftists’ any longer. As we looked at it together earlier, the pathways of mission work for North Korea are diverse. In fact, we need to remind us once again that humanist economic assistance project for North Korea through medical facilities or running of schools and alike serves like an advance guard and as a bridge that heals the general North Koreans hearts, especially those that have extremely negative views about South Korea and Christianity. At the end of Chosun Dynasty period and under Japanese imperialism, missionaries preached the gospel to us that way. So we need to remember that in that way, Christianity was able to place its roots on this land.

    Let us pay more attention to prayer movement for mission work in North Korea and for unification through the gospel. Our gospel-centered peaceful unification issue is not a simple issue that is related to the blood and body, but it is a complex issue that is related to spiritual world. Previously in the time of divided Germany, Peace Prayer Meetings took place every Monday at Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig, East Germany. There is a need for us to remember that this made an immensely big contribution for unification of Germany to take place in God’s timing and in an amazing way. Jubilee Prayer Meeting, a save-the–nation prayer movement for unification that takes place these days, New Jireh Peace Prayer Meeting, prayer meetings for the nation and for its people and so on, various mission work for North Korea activities as well as prayer meetings for national salvation, if we band together and unfold these, these would be even more effective.

B. Towards unification of system : Unfolding justice practice movement domestically in order to boost capability for unification

    As a driving force of unification of our people, let us encourage North Korean defectors. For them to choose to have unification with us, we need to make our society to be the one that is considered by the North Korean compatriots as a lighthouse of hope. It was reported that, of course, a lot of North Korean residents are aware of the fact that South Korea is more economically advanced and more prosperous compared to North Korea. But it was rated that most people do not agree with unification that is led by South Korea. Even though this may be a result of exaggeration by North Korean authorities and brainwashing, residents in North also are already aware that society of South Korea has a pathological phenomenon and they are aware of the aftereffects of unification to some extent. Thus, while we are working on the issues in our society, we should be more active in taking care of about 32 thousand North Korean defectors that came to South Korea. By assisting those people to settle down well, we should be able to help correct news to be delivered to their families in North Korea through them.

    In the perspective of kingdom of God, enabling our churches and society to be healthy, is what we can do for unification through the gospel now. These days, our society has too many wounds in many places. We might not be able to list them all one by one. In early days, through Jeremiah, God warned Judah about sexual immorality, corruption and falsehood. Our society is the same these days. In fact, our church is not an exception, as well. Having a scandal with a congregant, misusing church offerings, pretension, accusation, church union organizations are also are in the same kind of chaotic situation. As Christians, we are not getting a feedback that we are more pure, more holy and more honest at all. In this context, we need to think about the lesson that these try to show us from IMF economic crisis situation (1997), North Korean nuclear crisis (2002), nuclear weapon experiments that took place twice (2006, 2009), death of Jung Il Kim (2011) and a possibility of North Korean invasion that is never-ending (since 2012 till now). We need to repent and turn back. Even though Jeremiah warned Judah, they did not repent till the end. Judah perished as a result. But when we repent, turn back and enable churches and society to be healthy, God would give us peaceful unification through the gospel as a gift.

     Let us try to come up with the Biblical alternative in regards to the issues in our society and in regards to unification. During the 1990s and in the post-Cold War era, rather than our society seeks to find solution for the problems in a rational and integrated way, the situation is that people are emotional, and they take an extreme attitude and make radical claims excessively. We need to actively seek to find a solution that is just and effective in each area in view of solving the issues realistically rather than leaning towards the left or the right, but based on the Word of God and embracing the progressive and conservative parties. In international society already, they are expectant about the identity of unified Korea. About unified Korea that would arise as a key nation in the era of the Pacific, East-Asia in the 21st century, they are interested in finding out how unified Korea would contribute to the world history with its national identity. They expect us to open an era of New Peace Koreana as a new leading nation, not Pax Koreana that is the same as hegemonic nations in the past. The role of Korea in the world is expanding and is becoming more important than the Koreans think. There is a status change from Fast Follower to First Mover. From being the least developed among chasing countries, our nation is becoming a leading nation that comes up with a new paradigm.

    Let us establish Korea that is at peace. Unification means ‘building a new nation’. Given the condition that South and North Korea would exist together, Unified Korea needs to be a nation that 4 neighboring countries which are the US, China, Japan and Russia would be able to favorably cooperate with and support. 4 neighboring countries that influence us are either the ones that are close to the Korean peninsula geographically or the ones with power. They chose national strategies that would enable them to maintain their competitive national stance in the 21st century and become stronger. What kind of powerful nation should we target to become as an unified Korea? As an image for the future unified Korea, ‘even greater Korea’, ‘unified Korea that is advanced’ alike have been suggested, but these claims are based on the 19th century ‘theory of rich country with a powerful army’. It is a claim that makes sense for sure for existence and prosperity of a nation. However, we need to go beyond it. It is because God made it clear that for the society that acts evil and only seeks its own benefit, even though it is powerful and rich, if it does not look after the fatherless and the widows, then God will take revenge. (Jeremiah 5:27-30) Also, our leaders of the modern age sought after more refined national status beyond a simple theory of rich country with a powerful army. Songjae Jae Pil Seo aimed for a ‘democratic nation’, Woonam Syngman Rhee aimed for a ‘free nation’, Doma Jung-geun Ahn aimed for a ‘peaceful nation’, Baekbum Koo Kim aimed for a ‘cultural nation’, Dosan Chang-ho Ahn aimed for a ‘righteous nation’ and alike. Beyond the existence and prosperity, their dreams were the ones that thought about the status of a nation. If we were to summarize these kinds of desiring nations in one word, then it would be a peaceful nation. Unified Korea would solve the domestic conflicts which caused a division in our nation and would receive support and respect from 4 neighboring countries. It would become a peaceful nation that would be a role model to the world.

C. Towards unification of land : Driving domestic movement for peace and diplomacy in order to create an environment for unification

    Before a new wind sweeps through the Korean peninsula, churches of Korea need to prepare for mission work in North Korea unification through the gospel and setting up of major strategies for the world mission and for the world peace. Including Christian academia, Christian unification society, a number of Christian societies and Christian regiments for peace and unification, Korean Christian Unification Forum, the Christian Council of Korea, Unification and Mission University, Peace Korea, Christian Mission Organization for North Korea and so on, Christian NGOs need to establish Unification Theology together and propose churches of Korea in a form of a roadmap (direction and contents) for unification and mission work.

    Internationally, in the perspective of God’s shalom, an effort needs to be made so that the conflicts over hegemony between the US, China would not get worse, at the same time, to place a cornerstone for unification on the Korean peninsula, a preparation needs to be made by setting up a grand national strategy and mission strategies. Especially, churches need to hold mission-strengthening and international peace meetings in East-Asia to create an environment for peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula. Through this, re-evangelization of the US, evangelization of China, mission work in Japan that was discouraged after tsunami and by actively promoting mission work in Russia which is growing, we would make an effort proactively in spreading the gospel in the Eastern Asian region.

     Now, for God to give us an ability to fulfill His calling on unification through the gospel and for the world peace, let us ask God to help us and that he would give us wisdom. Let us make an effort to overcome the storms domestically such as political system in 1987, seeing the limit of economic system in 1997, nuclear provocation by North Korea, iron-first diplomacy of international foragers and alike. For unification through the gospel, for us to become a spiritually strong nation and for peace of the world, as well as for us to fulfill the new calling, let us ask God to help us and seek His wisdom more. This is a time that we need to pray for South Korea and with a new resolution, this is a time that we try in fulfilling the calling of our people in a Biblical way in the history of man. (Isaiah 19:23-25)

3. 2020 Proposal of Action Plan for churches of Korea

    First of all, let churches of Korea push ahead with a joint service in the Joint Security Area in 2020.

    Secondly, for this, let churches of Korea lead New Jireh Peace Prayer Meeting in (5 June~25 June) 2020.

    Thirdly, let churches of Korea become united as one and carry forward unification through the gospel.

Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia

Dr. Neely Gaston
Special Advisor to the President for Development
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

   Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is pleased to host the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia. Our mission is to prepare students to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically.

    In 1995, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s then President, Dr. Robert E. Cooley, wrote: “The winds of change are blowing across the theological landscape, challenging the very nature of theological education in dramatic ways. Non-traditional classroom learning, technological advancements, economic trends, the aging of the seminarian, shifting denominational profiles, and an increasingly multi-cultural student body are all forcing seminaries to reevaluate their missions, prioirities, and emphases.”  

     While this was written over 20 years ago, these prophetic words are leading higher education today, and with technology, even expanding the vision globally. Digital Live is an innovative initiative that offers students a holistic approach to education that leverages multiple technological innovations to bring students into a global classroom, while enabling them to remain in their own ministry contexts. Students here in South Korea can be trained for ministry and mission using technology, digital library resources, and professors from around the world. Students can even apply to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in their own language using the digital VidCruiter application platform. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary also offers English as a Second Language courses at the Masters level to train International students to serve in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual world.

The Center for Studies of Peace and Reconcilation in Northeastern Asia will provide training for ministry and mission in a multicultural context.

    Reverend Dr. Byung Hee Yang, Senior Pastor of the YoungAn Presbyterian Church is the Director and leader of the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconcilation in North Eastern Asia. This historic first Peace Conference is being held here and Seoul, and a reciprocal conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina late next spring. His work with North Korea is well known, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is excited to be in this partnership.

    Why Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary? We want our students to think theologically. We live in a broken world, but this is not how God intended us to live. He created the world with peace and harmony in mind. He intended his children to live together in what the Old Testament calls “shalom”. Bethany Hoang and Kristen Johnson write in their latest work, The Justice calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance, “There are four interrelated layers of shalom in the biblical story of creation that we are called to care about: relationship with God, relationship with others, relationship with self, and relationship with creation.” In chapter 3 of Genesis we see these layers of shalom are broken, and are an example of the world’s brokenness today. It is our calling by God to minister in such a broken world, bringing the hope of restoration and peace through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Salvation in Christ is not only for soul, it is intended to bring transformation to the body and to life itself. The Christian is a redeemed and reborn person, committed to not only serve God through faith in Christ, but to leave the world a better place than we found it. There is to be harmony with God, harmony with self, harmony with others, and harmony with creation. The Gospel calls for proclamation of salvation in and through Christ but also for the transformation of society through ministry, education, medical care, adequate diet and housing, and new societal infrastructure for work, peace, and harmony.

    In a fallen world, society only cares for itself. As the Lord said to Cain Genesis 4:9, “where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain actually had just killed his brother, jealous of an offering Abel had made to God. Brokenness leads to death, disharmony, and war. Restoration brings life, harmony, and peace, found only at the Cross of Calvary, and in the saving grace of Christ.

    What is God doing in the world? How is He leading us to seek peace and restoration, harmony and good will? How do we perceive God’s will and then act? Dr. Leighton Ford, brother-in-law of the late Dr. Billy Graham, suggests in his new book, A Life of Listening, that we Observe, Reflect, and Act. We are to observe what is God doing in the world, and seek to fit in that movement. We are to reflect, to take time to think and pray, and to seek the counsel of trusted friends and colleagues. Thoughtful reflection in the light of Scripture is most helpful. In Luke 10, the story of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. In the parable, three Jews pass a wounded man on the road to Jericho and do not stop to help. A Samaritan does help, and even takes him to an inn and pays for his care. Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor, to the man?” The answer was, “The one who showed mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

    In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” and he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    Global engagement is now part of everyday life. We live in a global economy, with materials, goods, and services from around the world available to us on a day to day basis. When I was a boy, South Korea was to me a small country on the other side of the world, a place I heard of only through my uncles and cousins who served here during the Korean War. Today, Samsung, LG, and Hyundai are household names in the USA. In less than 18 hours, I can travel from Charlotte, North Carolina and be speaking at this conference. The United States and South Korea are global trade partners, and allies supporting each other in mutual defense from potential enemies who threaten freedom and free trade. Goods and materials are traded globally with other nations, meeting the manufacturing and production needs of a global consumer. Medical and Information technology are shared, and in almost every way, an improved standard of living is provided for all partners in a true global economy. A booming sea- lanes shipping network is the medium for the majority of the global trade, and international law keeps these shipping lanes open and free.

    China, Japan, Russia, India, South Korea, and the United States represent over 50% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product – GDP. China today is the fastest growing military power, with a 650% increase in defense spending since 1992, compared to a 58% increase in Russian defense spending, with only a 16% increase in the United States defense spending since 1992. The world is a more dangerous place because of these increases in defense spending, and the desire for global markets. United States and South Korean Intellectual property is being stolen at the rate of $600 billion each year, with China being the main culprit.

    Global warming in the Artic is placing a greater threat to world shipping lanes as Russia and China seek to secure more military bases in the Artic region. North Korea continues to escalate its nuclear arsenal, creating a threat to South Korea, Japan, and even the United States.

    President Trump is seeking to create new trade deals with China, is meeting with Kim Jung Un seeking a peaceful solution to create a denuclearized Korean peninsula. How is God at work in all of this? I believe God led President Trump to appoint Robert O’Brien as his new National Security Advisor. He is a skilled negotiator and non-ideological foreign policy professional. The United States trade dispute constitutes the beginning of geopolitical, economic, military and technological realignment of global power between Washington and Beijing that will play out for decades. Robert O’Brien seems to be the right man at the right time to coordinate the interagency process and prepare options and recommendations for President Trump. I believe this coincides with the work already begun here in South Korea seeking peace and reconciliation with the North. God sent us the Man of Peace, Jesus Christ, to show us the way. The way of Christ is peace and reconciliation.

    God placed a vision of peace and reunification in the heart of Pastor Yang. He and his church have worked tirelessly for many years serving North Korean defectors and seeking peace between the North and the South. His passion has led Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to want to be a part of this work through theological education. This new work through the Center for Studies of Peace and Reconciliation in Northeastern Asia fits our mission well to Think Theologically, Engage Globally, and Live Biblically. It is our desire to partner with you in the training of Christian workers who will seek to not only bring the Gospel to North Korea and China, but to seek peace and restoration, with better schools, hospitals, infrastructure and a better standard of living. May God bless us in our work together as we think theologically, engage globally, and live biblically.

What Does the Bible Say about Reunification?

Professor SeJin Koh 
Former President - Asian United Theological University and Jerusalem University College

    The title given to me, “The Gospel Road to Peaceful Reunification,” is a short and simple phrase, but in reality, finding the way to a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula is a complicated process that raises various questions that must be answered. First, does the gospel actually give instructions or clues for the peaceful reunification of two countries? Secondly, after 70 years of separation with different political systems and cultures, can the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cooperate to produce a third or new national entity? This is only a brief look at the topic, so these questions cannot be answered in depth. Therefore, this paper will focus only on the biblical concept of peace and the question as to whether two political systems can merge peacefully to create another nation.


1. In order to answer these questions, we must begin with a basic understanding of the word peace.
    When human beings live together, the most important thing is for them to have peace among themselves. The word peaceinKoreaiswritteninChinesecharacters. We don’t know what the word was in pure Korean. The original word has been forgotten because it was continually written in Chinese characters. It generally means a state where no conflict or war occurs. Thus, peaceisadefensiveterm,notanoffensiveone. In the Old Testament the word shalom,meaningpeace,appearsabout250times. It includes the defensive meaning of the word as it is used in Korea. However, it also has the wider meaning where people live in harmony and cooperation and society is under law and order. In the New Testament, the word for peaceiseirene. This is a Greek word that probably was used by 1stcenturyJewsandisverycloseinmeaningtotheHebrewwordshalom.

2. Do the four gospels in the New Testament offer any method or clue for peacefully reuniting a divided peninsula?
    No matter how one interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ, it seems that the gospels do not teach how to act upon a specific political theme or in a particular situation.

    Of course, the teachings of Jesus that deal with love, forgiveness, repentance, and prayer can be used to create principles of reunification for the Korean peninsula. For example, Jesus taught His followers to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22), to love their enemy (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35), to turn the other cheek when struck by someone (Matthew 5:39), and to love their neighbors as themselves (Matthew 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31). All of these teachings give some direction when establishing strategies for reunification.
    The problem is that the North Korean officers and the South Korean officers who are dealing with the policies and the practice of reunification do not know biblical virtues and principles. Or if they know them, they do not follow them. Thus, this problem is not a problem of faith in God. Rather it is a problem between two political systems.
    The problem in taking a biblical approach to the topic is three-fold: (1) the gospels do not give us direct teachings regarding the approach to peaceful reunification; (2) South Korean reunification officers do not incorporate biblical ideas in establishing the unification policies; and (3) North Korea is an atheistic country with a one-man dictatorship which does not accept biblical principles of peace or even the South Korean approach to reunification.

    All of these things frustrate us as Christians in dealing with the peaceful reunification of the two countries. Further teachings of Jesus indicate that there are circumstances when dividing people, not uniting them, is called for. “Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth.

    I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus drew a line between the people who would follow Him and those who would not (Matthew 10:37). It is clear that it is not the way of Jesus for a believing group of people to be mixed or united with a non-believing group. Thus, without faith in Christ, it is not possible to have a biblical plan for a peaceful reunification of North Korea and South Korea because they do not agree to be joined under the divine leadership of Jesus Christ.

    If a biblical approach to reunification is insisted upon, Ephesians 1:10 may possibly be viewed as promoting international peace and harmony (“...a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth”). However, this requires that both sides agree to kneel in front of Jesus to live peacefully together as one nation, and this will not happen quickly.

3. What does the Old Testament teach regarding a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula?
    An Old Testament example of a nation divided is the account of the division of the monarchy when Rehoboam was on the throne. An examination of this event should be made to determine if there are any lessons from the Israelite’s experience that are applicable for healing the division on the modern Korean peninsula.

a. Similarities between the division of the ancient Israelite monarchy and the division on the modern Korean peninsula:

      (1) Ethnicity: The peoples of the divided Israelite monarchy were largely the same race. Likewise, the peoples of the two Koreas are largely the same race.
      (2) Religion: The Southern kingdom of Judah’s religion was Yahwehism, while the northern kingdom developed a syncretic approach to religion under the reign of Jeroboam. Likewise, in South Korean a significant number of people follow Christianity (about 20% of the entire population). On the other hand, North Korea does not allow adherence to any of the basic world religions. Rather, the only “religion” is a cultic following of the ruling Kim family.
      (3) Economy: The primary reason that the northern tribes broke away from the tribe of Judah was due to the economy. They demanded that Rehoboam reduce their taxes and forced labor. When North Korea was established, the leaders proclaimed that they were going to create a paradise for the proletariat.
      (4) Foreign intervention: When the Israelite monarchy was divided, foreign mega-powers instigated them to aggravate the situation. Jeroboam had run away from King Solomon to Egypt, where he stayed for a length of time before returning to lead an anti-Davidic dynasty. In Korea, the peninsula was under the heavy influence of superpowers like Russia, China, Japan, and the USA following World War II. A Russian officer of Korean origin (later known as Kim Il Sung) entered North Korea with the backup of the Russian government and established a communist regime.
      (5) Attitude of the citizenry: In the case of both the Israelite divided monarchy and the modern division on the Korean peninsula, the attitude of the general populace is the same. The common citizens on each side of the conflict were not hostile to each other.

b. Differences between the division of the ancient Israelite monarchy and the division on the modern Korean peninsula:
     (1) In the Israelite monarchies there was no ideological conflict. However, on the Korean peninsula there has been a continued dispute between atheistic communism and free democratic ideology and theism.
     (2) The Israelite kingdoms were surrounded by stronger powers, but they did not make alliances or equal treaties with them. In the end, both kingdoms were destroyed by the surrounding superpowers. In contrast, North Korea has made close treaties and alliances with Russia and China, and South Korea has maintained an equal treaty with the USA.
c. What lessons can be learned from the biblical account of the divided monarchy of Israel and applied to the topic of reunification for the Korean peninsula?
    Just as it is difficult to find New Testament texts that lay out a strategy for peaceful reunification, it is also difficult to find texts in the Old Testament that urge or support reunification of a divided nation. In Ezekiel 37 we read Yawheh’s words on the reunification of the divided monarchies (Ezekiel 37:16-17: “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph [the stick of Ephraim] and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand”). However, this text is not from the time when the two monarchies existed in the land. At the time of this prophecy, the Northern and Southern kingdoms had already been destroyed and the people had been taken to Assyria and Babylon as captives. Therefore, this is a prophecy regarding the creation of a new nation from among the people from the exile. In verse 23, Yahweh says, “They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Thus, the new nation would be a theocratic nation, not a secular state. Therefore, this passage is not applicable to the issue of the reunification of the Korean peninsula.
d. Conclusion - The Old Testament is more interested in the purity of faith than in reuniting divided monarchies.

4. The current reunification policy of the South Korean government does not align with the identity of a free democratic society which is found in South Korea. Instead, it more closely follows the communistic and aggressive reunification line of North Korea. In this way, many policies have already been implemented to weaken the South Korean national security and military power, giving the North Korean military a superior hand.


1. As Christians, we need to biblically contemplate the reasons for the division of the Korean peninsula. I Kings 11 states that Yahweh tore Israel from the Southern Kingdom of Judah “because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statues and my rules, as David his father did” (v. 33). It is clear that the division of the Israelite nation was God’s will. If this is true, then we need to think seriously about the reason for the division of the Korean peninsula.

2. If South Korean Christians leave their wicked ways and repent and follow God, the door can be opened to the road of reunification. 2 Chronicles 7:14 describes the conditions for Yahweh to heal the land. That can happen only if we return to Yahweh with our whole hearts.

3. South Korean Christians must prayer together with the North Korean Christians who are underground. We know that there are true Christians in North Korea, but they are underground, so they are not easily identifiable. But by means of radio, dropping leaflets, and meeting with North Korean Christians who have become escapees and now live in South Korea, we should ask the North Korean Christians to unite in prayer for the reunification of Korea.

4. We need to pray ardently for God’s intervention in the work of both South and North Korean government officers who work on the reunification policies.

There are many questions regarding what the South Korean government is doing for reunification in terms of our relationship with North Korea. There is a suspicion that the South Korean government is doing something anti-constitutional to yield to North Korea in reuniting the two countries. Therefore, we must pray fervently that Yahweh will intervene in His sovereignty to guide the government officers on both sides. Reunification is a formidable goal and a very complicated task. Therefore, without God’s help and intervention, it will not be possible to bring it to fruition.  

The Role of North Korean Defectors in the Process of Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula 

An Chan Il, Chairman
The World Institute for North Korea Studies

Ⅰ. Introduction

    Unification for the Korean peninsula is coming. We, the 34,000 North Korean defectors, are the true spokespersons of 25 million North Koreans and are proud to represent their true self and understanding. We have left our homes inevitably in search of freedom. Our determination and present life however, are not just about pursuing our own peace and well-being. We believe that we must play a more important role than anyone else for our relatives, friends and colleagues who still remain in North Korea and ultimately for the reunion of the nations. We bear the responsibility to inform the reality and truth of the outside world to the poor people of North Korea, whose eyes and ears are covered to still think, believe, follow and act only upon the things that the authorities teach.At the same time, I would like to find ways to improve their lives and practice them. To this end, we first request the following to the current regime of North Korea.

    First, we urge the North Korean regime to put efforts to improve the poor conditions of its citizens welfare before the development of costly nuclear weapons.  

    Second, the North Korean regime should guarantee its citizens freedom of ideology, media and religion. The oppression of Christianity and the deprivation of freedom of thought are anti-civil, and urge the awakening of North Korean intellectuals in particular. 

    Third, we urge the North Korean regime to allow its citizens to exchange, communicate and travel abroad freely. 

    Finally, all power is ultimately for the people. The people should freely participate in the formation and exercise of power and be able to express their opinions, including criticism. In particular, the highest North Korean authority should be responsible for poor results. These demands speak of common sense in the 21st century. The biggest challenge for our people is to live together, that is, unification. But who would welcome unification if it results in same situation as North Korea. The most important factor is the evangelization of North Korea. The amazing work of God will surely build and evangelized liberal democracy in the lands of North Korea.

Ⅱ. The Role of North Korean Defectors as Christian Missionaries

1. Current Status of Christianity in North Korean Defectors 

   Upon leaving Hana-won, an educational facility that helps North Korean defectors adjust into society, 90% of survey respondents list themselves as Christians, but this percentage declines to 62% three year later. This relates to other matters that should not be interpreted only from a religious standpoint. In other words, this is a result of the desperation that most North Korean defectors must survive the wars of life before religious beliefs as they have to make a living while being on welfare recipients.  

Nevertheless, it is truly fortunate that more than six out of ten North Korean defectors live as Christians. Collective defections generally began during the period of the March of Suffering. At the time, the situation in North Korea was the heights of starvation and disease, or simply hell-on-earth. Nodong Sinmun󰡓, or the North Korean Labor Newspaper expressed the situation at that time as follows.

     We have cried all the tears we would shed for a thousand years, and have suffered all the tribulations we would endure a thousand years. We shall never forget. †† 

   For most North Korean defectors who have faced such adversity, South Korea was literally  heaven. If there was Exodus, the story of escape from Egypt, then there also is Exo-North Korea, the story of escaping from the literal hell of North Korea. To the North Korean defectors who have experienced the line of life and death personally, the Words of the Bible and God's truth is easily accepted in the early stages, but why do they not last long? As mentioned above, there is the reason of surviving the war of life, but it is caused by the confusion that the principle of Christianity is similar to North Korean 󰡒Juche󰡓 idea and the idolization of Kim Il Sung. In particular, there are many misconceptions about the religious life,that going to Church every Sunday is same as the organized life of party and working group in North Korea.  

    North Korean defectors often forget their memories of hardships and trials they have endured during the escape. And in order to realize the desire for freedom that was suppressed in North Korea, they can easily get submerged in the civilization of materialism of capitalist society. Therefore, planning and practicing evangelization of North Korea through North Korean defectors is an important unification effort that must be prepared on the road to peaceful unification. The reality is that evangelization of North Korea, where Christian foundation is poor, is possible only through 󰡐blood-transfusion󰡑 from the outside.

2. North Korean Evangelization through North Korean Defectors

    At present, there are only two Christian churches (Bongsu Church, ChilgolChurch) and one cathedral (Jangchung Catholic Cathedral) in North Korea. Even if 100 churches were to be built currently in North Korea, the demand for churches is still great; therefore establishing churches is a problem of utmost desperation. As long as the current North Korean regime exists, there is no telling how many years are needed to see more churches. Jesus said, 󰡒This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you󰡓(John 15:12). I believe that Korean churches and North Korean Christians must exercise the love of Jesus for North Korean citizens living in the desert of religion. But who can deal with that role well? From a missiologicalperspective, it is indisputable that locals are more suitable. However, Korean churches still believe that they should be principal in planting churches in North Korea. This is a dangerous concept. The South Korean churches still lack many things to embrace all the defected North Korean Christians. Their interest is on insisting quantitative mission policy and regards it as a success in mission.

    More than 34,000 North Korean defectors came to the South from different parts of the country as if they were selected from all over North Korea. More than 40 of them are now ordained pastors, qualifying to be evangelists and missionaries, and more than 100 young people are currently studying at seminaries. This means that if there were 100 churches built in North Korea today, there will be enough Christian leaders that can provide spiritual guidance. Therefore, South Korean churches should now prepare a long-term program to build churches by selecting defected pastors and missionaries for each region. If they can build churches in their home areas, they can quickly promote the evangelization of North Korea by utilizing their ties in acquaintances, schools, and kindred ship.

Ⅲ. Frei Kaufin Korean Peninsula, Remittance of North Korean Defectors

    As is widely known many North Koreans are known to send money on a regular basis to their families in North Korea, despite their financial instability. One survey found that 51.7% have acknowledged remitting money. On the contrary, 31% of people were unable to send money even if they wanted, revealing their difficult situation. 7.5% said they󰡑d rather not say, and 9.8% showed no response which are not indication of rejection to remittance nor having negative thoughts, but rather because of the lack of economic capacity and the sadness or regret where they are willing but not able.

    Responses vary slightly by age group, 33.2% in their 20s have never remitted and 28.2% have sent money. And in the 60s, both sides were shown to be up to66%. This is in contrast to other age groups where more than 50% have remitted, probably because this age group is not subject to independent economic activity.

    Specifically, 47.8% have sent more than $1,000 on annual average, being the largest percentage, 26.5% sent $2,000, 14.2% $3,000, followed by 7.0% sending more than $4,000. Although very limited, 2% of respondents have said that they are sending annual average of $5,000. The amount of remittances is not a matter of the heart, but a matter of economic capacity. As matter of a fact, those defectors from the Kim Jong-Il regime who have stayed longer and settled earlier in South Korea are sending more money on average compared to those that have defected during the Kim Jong-un regime. In more detail, comparing the amount of remittances of North Korean defectors before and after the Kim Jong-un regime, the $1,000 remittance was 45% vs 58.6% for the former and the latter respectively, and the remittance increased, 27.2% vs 21.4% at $2,000, 15.2% vs 10% at $3,000, and 7.3% vs 5.7% at $4,000, a distinct trend is easily noticed. If the remittances of North Korean defectors can cause desirableeffects, such as vitalizing the North Korean market and expanding the private sector, we and also confirm the need for support to help them make necessary remittances.

    In this survey, additional investigation was conducted with the purpose of understanding the remittance status of other North Korean defectors other than the respondents. As a result, 55.2% of North Korean defectors or 221 people have confirmed the fact that other defectors were also sending money. 22% replied that they did not know, 11.5% could not say, and 11.2% did not respond. According to the additional survey of 13 questions about remittance, almost 50% of total North Korean defectors are sending regular remittances for their families.

    When looking at response characteristics according to age, those in their 20s have replied yes 33.4%, don󰡑t know 25.6%, can󰡑t say 25.6%, and 15.4% non-responsive, which can be implied that they don󰡑t really know a whole lot about the remittance situations of other age groups, relating to the fact that they don󰡑t really know about the work their parents are doing. In fact, not many North Korean defectors in their 20s living on their own cannot send money to North Korea because of economic difficulties.

    Understanding where the North Korean families spend their remitted money can be an important reference in analyzing the usefulness of North Korean remittances and their impact on the North Korean society. According to the survey, living expenses, being the highest was 67%, seed money for business 20.8%, preparing for defection 4.2%, buying housing 4%, and 4% for other. It is natural for North Korean families, who are struggling in the failing North Korean economy and the sanctions by the UN, to spend most of the remitted money as living expense. At the same time, the fact that it is also used as seed money for business, housing and preparing for defection highlights the meaning of remittances of the North Korean defectors.

    According to the gender analysis, although North Korean male and female defectors show small differences in the estimation of remittance use by the North Korean families, similar pattern emerges. This seems to be due to the fact that men and women have different perspectives in regards to the seriousness of North Korean economy and the economic activities of their North Korean families trying to survive. Estimation of remittance use by age group shows a slightly different pattern. 12.8% in their 20s and 10.3% in the 50s have responded in the category of using the funds to promote defection. On the contrary, the response was relatively low, with 1.0% in 30s, and 2.9% in 40s. Perhaps those in their 20s have had many experiences of defecting using the remittances sent by their parents, and it is estimated that this pattern occurs when those in their 40s spend the most money in order to help their children to defect.

Ⅳ. Forming Unification Government and the Role of North Korean Defectors

1. Role of North Korean Defectors in Forming the Government

   Unification can come suddenly one day, as the German case shows. It is an unchanging truth that the basic premise of unification is peacefully realized under the leadership of the Republic of Korea, and that it should inherit and maintain liberal democracy and a market economy. To this end, it is necessary to successfully pursue the integration of regimes between the two Koreas, to actively resolve various problems arising from a unified Korea, and to establish an organizational system of a 󰡐unified government capable of meeting the administrative demands of unification effectively and efficiently. 

   Committee for 5 North Korean Provinces is an administrative organization created to ensure the administrative demands of the North Korean region. This is the area which the Republic of Korea must recover one day. Strictlyspeaking, there are unrecoveredGyeonggi-do and unrecoveredGangwon-do region (the law distinguishes it from the 5 North Korean Provinces󰡓 to 󰡒Unrecovered city/county󰡓)so calling the entire unrecovered area 5 North Korean Provinces is not accurate. Therefore, the law uses the expression 5 North Korean Provinces, etc. When referring to the entire unrecoveredregion. (Article 4 of the 5 North Korea Provinces Act). Originally, the unrecoveredGyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do region were to be governed by the Governor of Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do respectively, not by the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces, but on May 18th, 2015 there was an amendment to special measures act regarding 5 North Korean Provinces, so the Governor and sitting chairperson of the Committee oversees the administration of the unrecoveredGyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do as well. 

    As a result, the name and actuality of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces is partially different. However, this is for the convenience of the Secretary-General, but does not mean that unrecoveredGyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do are included in the definition of the 5 North Korean Provinces. Since they are all located north of the armistice line, they are not actually the land of South Korea but under North Korea󰡑s control. However, in Korea, it is called 󰡒Unrecovered Territory, and it is regarded as strictly Korean territory according to Article 3 of the Constitution (The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean peninsula and its adjacent islands).

    According to the current distribution of North Korean defectors, most people come from North and South Hamgyoung. Thus, among the North Korean defectors, there is an interesting saying that Hamgyeong-do is neglected in North Korea but we are the pioneers in unification.  In fact, Hamgyeong-do is ahead of other regions in the Jangmadang economy and the living conditions are improving daily due to the North Korean defectors remittances. Therefore, the 5 North Korean Provincial Office should be replaced with the elite North Korean defectors. Very few first generations still remain among the governors and mayors. Years have gone by and they cannot remain at their posts, more and more of them are dying. It is not easy to entrust the North Korean region to the second generation defectors. They are all born and educated in the Republic of Korea and lived irrelevant lives to the homelands of their forefathers and nostalgia.

    In preparation for unification, elite North Korean defectors should be appointed as administrative officials for North Korean regions and constantly cultivate them to prepare for social integration, administrative reconstruction, and social development. Here, we must imitate the experience of the unified Germany. After the unification, the most important problem for the unified government was the lack of coordination mechanism for system integration between East-West Germany and the reconstruction projects in the East German region. Therefore, to solve this coordination problem, they have installed and operated the Office of Coordinator for New Commonwealth under the Federal Prime Minister󰡑s Office since 1998. The function and role of the Office of Coordinator for the New Commonwealth was to coordinate the tasks for the integration of ministries, system integration, and reconstruction of East German regions.

    North Korean defectors have the advantage of knowing at least about their own region in North Korea. There is no one who knows better about most vulnerable areas in industry, rural areas, welfare, and even infrastructure and to solve these problems than North Korean defectors. At the moment, an interim government is established called Liberal Chosen, around the US and insisting on the replacement of the King Jong-un regime but there seems to be no North Korean defectors among them. What does this mean?There is at least a scenario of collapse of North Korea, but no reconstruction. 34,000 North Korean defectors should be given opportunities to grow administrative abilities and provide a chance for rebuilding North K orea with a steady orientation.

2. Party Creation and the Role of North Korean Defectors

    The Worker󰡑s Party of North Korea have maintained a one party system for more than 70years. After unification, a true political party politics should be placed in North Korea. Party politics is a political form that cannot be separated from parliamentary politics, and the political party would receive political authority. It is usually based on a plural party system, and the form of the one-party dictatorship is in fact a form of party politics. However, in the strict sense such a case is not called party politics.

    In parliamentary politics, the opinion of the minority should be respected as well as the principle of majority voting, so there must be opposition parties and pluralist parties also. Each political party acts as a spokesperson for gathering diverse interests of the general public and interest groups in the political process, and to convey the gathered opinions to the government. The political party also organizes the participation of the general public through elections, and by taking over not only the parliament but also the government, exercises the function of taking over the regime. Thus, party politics could play a role in making parliamentary and democratic politics possible. In this sense, G. Leibholzsaid, The modern democratic state of the 20th century is based on the principle of national sovereignty, and the political parties must be organized nationally, and through parties the once free, representative and parliamentary democratic politics of the 19th century have transformed into the referendum of democratic politics in the 20th century, pointing out the fact that modern democratic politics result in party politics.

    It is also possible to examine the reconstruction of North Korean political parties. For example, Cho Man-siks Social Democratic Party currently has its headquarters in Seoul. However, the persons in charge are too old to be able to reveal the character of the party and be active. Cho Man-siks Social Democratic Party is the root of North Korean democracy. Hadn󰡑t Soviet Union stationed themselves in North Korea and thus the Communist Party was never formed, then the Social Democratic Party may have seized power more than once. If the elite North Korean defectors can succeed the party and contribute to stability in the North Korean party politics during peaceful unification, it will also be another way of preparing for unification.

Ⅴ. Conclusion

    I believe the 34,000North Korean defectors are preliminary messengers sent by God to prepare for the unification of the Korean peninsula. If there had been this size of movement from South Korea to North Korea, the North Korean regime would have already utilized that capacity. Of course, there can be no big shift from the system of good to the system of evil. When North Korea󰡑s national power was ahead of us, back in 1974, there were more South Korean defectors if you compare the number of defectors along the armisticeline. No North Korean defector is satisfied with present status quo.  

    Most North Korean defectors are willing to join the process of preparing for unification and liberalization and democratization of North Korea. It is doubtful however, whether the Korean government has the 34,000 North Korean defectors in mind for unification.The number of North Korean defectors is also known to have decreased in the composition of the 19th Democratic Peace and Unification Advisory Council. By convention, our government has generally been more concerned with the North Korean regime and talking about unification theories other than caring for North Koreans.

    At least the Christian community should put North Korean defectors ahead for peaceful unification. The big picture of home missions, regional missions, North Korea missions, and unification missions can only be realized when we place North Korean defectors in strategic positions and also by providing steady education. There is no alternative in the process of social integration of the two Koreas other than Christian gospel. There will be conflict, hostility and heterogeneity in North and South Korean society after spending over than 70years of living apart††.

    There can be no social integration without love and forgiveness.The enemy can be easily forgiven when there are churches in all areas of North Korea with the sound of beautiful hymn resounds and everyone reads the Bible. This effort should be prepared diligently from now or it would be an impossible task to do it in just a day.▣ 

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