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CWS/NCC Parley Seeks "Road Map" to Korea Peace

Jun 16, 2003 10:39 AM EDT

LOUISVILLE - With Asian and global stability increasingly threatened by a nuclear stand-off in North Korea, Church World Service and the National Council of Churches have put together a "Korean Roadmap" for peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.

The consultation, scheduled for June 16-18 in Washington, will bring together U.S. and Korean church leaders, experts from humanitarian agencies and the United Nations and academicians. The Presbyterian Church (USA) will be represented at the consultation by the Rev. Insik Kim, coordinator for East Asia and the Pacific in the Worldwide Ministries Division. Kim is a native of North Korea.

According to NCC news director Carol Fouke, "it is expected that consultation participants will renounce military options and call for stepping up of diplomacy and humanitarian aid." Their recommendations will be shared with Congress, the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon.

In addition to Kim, consultation speakers will include Peggy Billings, a Methodist missionary in Korea from 1953 to 1963; Young I. Chun, president of the International Strategies and Reconciliation Foundation (ISR), a think tank and relief and development organization seeking to restore reconciliation in conflict regions with current focus on the Korean peninsula; Gail V. Coulson, executive secretary for Asia Pacific region in mission contexts and relationships of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church; Robert Edgar, NCC general secretary; Selig S. Harrison, senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, who has specialized in South Asia and East Asia for 50 years.

Also, Victor Hsu, a native of Taiwan who serves as senior advisor to the executive director of Church World Service and who was the first convener of the Steering Committee of the Food Aid Liaison Unit of the World Food Program Country Office in North Korea; Randall Ireson, coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee agriculture assistance program in North Korea; Karin Lee, senior associate for the East Asia Policy Education Project of the Friends Committee on National Legislation; Heidi Linton, executive director of the Christian Friends of Korea; Betsy Headrick McCrae, program director for East Asia for the Mennonite Central Committee; John L. McCullough, CWS executive director.

And, K.A. Namkung, an independent consultant providing advisory services to government agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations in East Asia; The Rev. Jong-Wha Park, a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, of the Commission of Peace and Reunification, NCC-Korea, and of the Presidential Advisory Council on Reunification in Korea and former general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea; Maurice F. Strong, special advisor to the secretary general of the United Nations on humanitarian and development efforts in Korea.

By Albert H. Lee
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