The National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) Statement Regarding US Removing North Korea from its Blacklist
NCCK welcomes the US removed North Korea from its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism
The NCCK- Reconciliation and Unification Committee positively welcomes that the United States removed North Korea after over 20 years from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as pledged in the October 3 agreement between the US and North Korea. We understand that this measure was based on that North Korea agreed resumption of dismantlement of Youngbyun nuclear facilities and admitted entry and inspection to related facilities of IAEA officers for verification.
We hope that this measure would be an important opportunity for six party countries with the U.S. as a main role player to positively step forward for their goal for solving North Korea’s nuclear issue as well as for building peace system on the Korean peninsula. Especially we expect that diplomatic relations between the U.S and North Korea as well as between the Japan and North Korea are soon to be normalized, and therefore North Korea could get swiftly out from political and economic pressure.
As well, we urge South Korean government promptly to resume working level consultation between the two Koreas for the implementation of the agreement of June 15 Joint Statement and the October 4th Agreement, and to construct realistic and visible policies in order to bring a new future of inter-Korea relationship which Lee Myung-bak government mentioned.
In this regard, firstly we urge the Lee government to promptly carry out humanitarian assistance such as rice, fertilizer and etc. to North Korea, to reopen tour to Mt. Keumgang and to expand infra-structure in Gaesung Industrial complex for mobilizing exchange and cooperation of peoples and authorities including reunion of the separated.
Together with this, we expect Lee government to bring concrete advantage to economy of both the South and the North, developing policies in practical use for building peace system on the Korean peninsula through the North and South summit meeting.
October 13, 2008
Rev. Kwon Oh-Sung, General Secretary
Rev. Lee Chong-Bok, Chair of Reconciliation & Unification Committee
The National Council of Churches in Korea