Author: Vicky

The “Yoga of clean-up”

       For years I studied with a yoga teacher who delighted in finding ways to make difficult yoga postures restorative for me.  She  would encourage me to use every bit of equipment available to support my body…

Theology, the American Dream, and Human Rights in the Age of Trump

President Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy is as heartless as it is cowardly. It is also chillingly cruel. When this policy is paired with the president’s decision, announced on June 19, 2018, to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, we…

We Will Do and We Will Understand

I began to weep as I stood in the kitchen that day, and heard the news of yet another school shooting. This one in Texas, ten dead, eight students and two teachers. Such had been that painful week for all of us, for this poor, sorrowing world, for this…

Uprooting Racism and Colonialism: An exercise in historical theology

Politico and other news media reported recently that the president has advanced the idea that Native Americans are a race, and not sovereign nations. I argue in this article that this is a racist idea rooted in the history of white domination, subjug…

LivingNonviolence 2018-05-19 11:19:00

“You are You! That is TRUER Than TRUE!Rabbi Victor H. ReinsteinA sacred text of a different sort came to me as a gift recently. The place of its giving became as Sinai in that moment, a place of revelation and delight in the transmission of Torah from …

The Korean Peace Movement

            Thanks to the reporting of independent journalists like Sarah Lazare, we are learning the real story behind the historic Korean Peace Declaration. Lazare’s conversation with Korean peace activist Christine Ahn was featured in the web only edition of In These Times, April 30, 2018.  (In These Times).  Her report and the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula are the basis of the following story.

            South Korean-born Ahn founded and coordinates Women Cross DMZ … a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War, reunite families, and ensure women’s roles in peace building. Lazare identifies Ahn and Women Cross DMZ (Christine Ahn – Women Cross DMZ | Ending The Korean War ..).  as one of the key groups that helped oust former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and give President Moon Jae-in a mandate for peace. 

          According to Ahn, international activists and peace movements forced the North and South Korean leaders to release a statement that declares the “new era of peace,” which includes taking steps toward family reunification, denuclearization, and cessation of all hostile acts. She reminds us all that Korea and the Korean people are at the center of the process leading up to the peace statement.

            In her interview with Lazare, Ahn explains that the Candlelight Revolution led to the overthrow of President Park Geun-hye and the election of President Moon Jae-in, who comes from the movement for democracy and human rights. His popularity rating among South Koreans is between 70 and 80 percent.
            Also according to Ahn, in 2016 a white American lawyer, whom she does not identify, showed up at a press conference to accuse the peace movement of being the work of the North Korean government. Now, Ahn says, we have to continue to build an international movement and increase mobilization. More than 20 countries participated in the Korean War. According to one military historian cited by Lazare, during the Korean War at least 18 of North Korea’s 22 major cities were “at least half obliterated.”  When we hear endless stories about the poverty in North Korea this history is seldom told, but is certainly worth remembering as we think about the opportunity of the present and our shared responsibility for the future.

            The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula  (Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the …) was signed by President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the “Peace House” at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. The two leaders declared that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula, and promised “to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner.         

            The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Koran Peninsula has three main sections.

            The first section begins with a commitment to “reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans.” It also contains an agreement to hold dialogue “at a very high level” to implement the agreement, and established a joint liaison office. The two sides agree to demonstrate their unity by jointly participating in international sporting events, swiftly resolving humanitarian issues, and proceeding with family reunification programs. The first family reunion will be held on August 15, 2018, National Liberation Day (the anniversary of Korean liberation from Japanese occupation).
            The second section commits both South Korea and North Korea to make joint efforts “to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.” The two sides agree to transform the DMZ into a peace zone, and agree to hold meetings between military authorities. The first meetings will be held at the rank of general in May.
            The third section reaffirms “the Non-Aggression Agreement that precludes the use of force in any form,” and contains an agreement “to carry out disarmament in a phased manner.” Both North Korea and South Korea agree to enter into trilateral meetings with the United States and quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States, and China, “with a view to declaring an end to the War and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.” It also includes a commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
            Getting the United States and China to sign a peace agreement may be the most difficult part of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. Informed advocates in the United States can and will make a difference.

Rev. David Hansen
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Nonviolence – A Personal Practice

            Nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. The term “nonviolence is often linked with or used as a synonym for peace, and refers sp…

That Was Then, This Is Now

              The atmosphere in two of our island faith communities has been charged with challenge and hope and reconciliation and renewal.  Two weeks ago, Christians and Jews, folk…

An Upside Down World as a Vision of its Own Better Self

Purim is the day of greatest levity in the Jewish calendar. It is a time to get out of our selves, to let go, to laugh, to engage in good-natured mocking. That is why we dress up, costumes the order of the day for adults as well as children, all indeed…