Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Nuclear decision offers hope for dialogue
Analysts give cautious welcome to agreement between US and North KoreaThe statue of Kim Il-sung, late North Korean leader
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- March 2, 2012
The United States and North Korea announced on Wednesday that Pyongyang had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear testing and uranium enrichment activities and that the US will provide the North with 240,000 tons of food aid.
The announcement follows a third round of bilateral talks between the US and North Korea which took place February 23-24 in Beijing.
The six-party talks involving Japan, China, North and South Korea, Russia and the US, which aim at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, have been stalled since 2008.
However, the analysts offered a note of caution, citing North Koreaâ€™s record of back-tracking on previous agreements.
â€śWe just have to wait and see if North Korea intends to honor the agreementâ€ť because challenges lie ahead in the process of fine-tuning details over its implementation, said Park Jong-chul, director of the Center for Unification Policy Studies.
â€śHowever it is a positive sign that dialogue has already started,â€ť he said.
James Byun Jin-heung, from Incheon Catholic University, said that though the agreement is â€śmeaningful,â€ť there is â€śa practical limitâ€ť as to what the agreement yields and whether it is a significant breakthrough towards North Koreaâ€™s actual denuclearization.
Sister Oh Hye-jeong, secretary-general of the Korean Bishopâ€™s Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, called on the South Korean government to use this latest development to help repair strained relations between the two neighbors
â€śThe South Korean government must make more effort,â€ť especially in facilitating mutual exchanges including humanitarian aid to the North, she said.
â€śWe and the international community should not ask too much of North Korea, but wait and see if its change in attitude is genuine.â€ť
Seoul welcomes US North agreement