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Religious leaders call for peaceful Olympics

East Asia Peace Forum appeal for US dialogue with North, use Pyeongchang games as a springboard to mend ties

Religious leaders call for peaceful Olympics

East Asia Peace Forum has called on North Korea and the U.S. to cease making threats and ensure a peaceful Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month. (Photo supplied) 

January 4, 2018

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Religious and political leaders in South Korea have appealed to the North and the U.S. to stop using military threats and engage in dialogue to ease tensions and also ensure the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics pass off peacefully.

The appeal came at a recent meeting of the East Asia Peace Forum in Seoul.

The forum, which consists of religious, political and social leaders called on the two nations to engage in unconditional dialogue.

It also urged North Korea to participate in the Olympic Games saying, North Korea joining the games would be “a first step in making the event a peaceful world festival.”

“The threat of nuclear war in Northeast Asia is a grave problem that the whole human race should solve together. With several Olympic Games being held in the region, let’s make them a momentum for peace in Northeast Asia,” the forum said in a statement.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea will run from Feb.9-25, while Tokyo and Beijing are to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 winter games respectively.

Also present at the forum was Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea.

“If peace on the Korean Peninsula collapses, it could be the flashpoint that threatens peace across Northeast Asia and the whole world. We cannot keep the peace by threatening war but we can through open dialogue and negotiation,” he told the gathering.

 

 

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