Mennonite Church USA co-sponsors webinars on North Korea

By MC USA staff

(Mennonite Church USA) — ReconciliAsian, a peace center in Los Angeles, is hosting a webinar series this spring to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. The webinars address the impact of the Korean War on the people of North Korea and are co-sponsored by Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea, the Korean Peace Committee of the United Methodist Church and North American Disciples of the Christian Church.

North Korea
Sue Park-Hur

“Although 70 years have passed, we carry the trauma of this war in our minds, spirits and bodies – whether we experienced the war directly or indirectly,” said Sue Park-Hur, MC USA’s denominational minister for transformative peacemaking and co-founder of ReconciliAsian.

The Korean War, dubbed the “Forgotten War” in the United States, is remembered by the Korean people as yook-i-o (6-2-5), a reference to June 25, the date the war began in 1950. Although fighting stopped in 1953, no formal peace treaty has ever been signed. As a result of ongoing tensions, North Korea remains a restricted place for U.S. nationals to visit, receiving the U.S. State Department’s Level 4 (Do not travel) advisory level.

“It is not normal for families to be divided for 70 years. Our brothers and sisters have become strangers and vilified as enemies. We need to continue to seek ways to journey toward reconciliation with North Korea,” said Park-Hur. “As people of peace, we have much work to do.”

Park-Hur will host two English-language webinars, called Remem-bearing the Korean War, aimed at raising awareness of the situation in North Korea:

North Korea
Dr. Inyeop Lee
North Korea
Joy Yoon

On June 5, 2020, Dr. Inyeop Lee will discuss the history and impact of U.S. sanctions on North Korea. Dr. Lee is a visiting assistant professor in politics at Washington and Lee University, Lexington City, Virginia, and co-author of “Politics in North and South Korea: Political Development, Economy, and Foreign Relations.” The registration deadline is June 3.

On June 12, 2020, Joy Yoon will share a presentation on the humanitarian work being done in North Korea. Yoon is co-founder of Ignis Community, an international nonprofit that aids in the healthy development of North Korean children through medicine, health and education. She also is author of “Discovering Joy: Ten Years in North Korea.” The registration deadline is June 10.

The webinars will be held at 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT/9:30am (+ 1 day in Korea). Register for one or both webinars at https://bit.ly/NKoreaWebinar.

For more information on the history of the Korean Peninsula and the dynamics of tension and conflict there, visit Mennonite Church USA’s 2018 Learn, Pray, Join: Korean Peninsula.

Here also is an FAQ on Korea, published by the global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War.

Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 86 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas.  mennoniteUSA.org