The World Council of Churches stands in solidarity with the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) in its efforts to negotiate a peace treaty that will replace the Armistice Agreement. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement signed in 1953. This agreement stopped the fighting in the Korean war but did not technically end the conflict. As a result, the Korea Peace Appeal campaign was developed.

Korea Peace Appeal Campaign

Rev. Prof. Dr. Jerry Pillay is the general secretary of the World Council of Churches. He has stated that the organization is "calling on its global fellowship for solidarity and advocacy" in order to support the churches in Korea in their efforts to build peace and promote the Korea Peace Appeal campaign. The World Council Churches reported that the transition from the armistice agreement to a peace treaty is a crucial step towards attaining lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and they are reportedly determined to continue their work to foster peace and advocate for justice around the world.

As mentioned, the 1953 Armistice Agreement, which halted the Korean War but did not finish it, marks the 70th anniversary this year. World Council of Churches (WCC) has been a consistent backer of the National Council of Churches in Korea's (NCCK's) attempts to lobby for a peace treaty that would replace the armistice agreement. Since 1953, the state of war on the Korean Peninsula has not been resolved, which has created security problems, led to a growth in militarism, and resulted in significant political and economic consequences for the people living there.

The WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, adopted the "Minute on ending the war and creating peace on the Korean Peninsula" and required member churches and partners to support the Korean churches' Korea Peace Appeal campaign.

Moreover, the WCC will take part in the Korean Peace Appeal Conference that will be held on July 27 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement. It also extends an invitation to all of its member churches to participate in the Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula, which will take place on July 30 this year. According to Global Ministries, The Korea Peace Appeal Campaign is a global campaign that seeks to gather 100 million signatures by 2023. The NCCK has challenged its denominations to gather 10,000 signatures this year.

Also Read: Korean War's 70th Anniversary, when will the two Koreas reach a peace treaty?

Korean War

Based on an article from the National Archives, in 1948, the Korean Peninsula was divided between a Soviet-backed north and an American-backed south. June 25, 1950, saw war at the 38th parallel, and North Korean troops attacked many critical locations along the parallel and marched south into Seoul that day. The Cold War-tense UN Security Council condemned the incursion as a "breach of peace." South Korea was supported by US and UN soldiers. As a result, the three-year war killed millions of soldiers and civilians.

On July 27, 1953, the United Nations formally declared the end of the Korean War. In Panmunjom, at the stroke of ten in the morning, United States Army Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr., senior delegate of United Nations Command Delegation, and North Korean General Nam Il, senior diplomat, Delegation of the Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteers, signed 18 official copies of the trilingual Korean Armistice Agreement. 

Related Article: Remembering the Korean War and the Chaplains who Spread the Gospel during the war