The Korean War is the longest standing U.S. conflict. While it no longer consists of active fighting, hostilities between the warring parties have remained high, resulting in extreme militarization on the Korean Peninsula. If fighting erupted on the Korean Peninsula today, it’s estimated that as many as 300,000 people would die in the first few days of conventional fighting.

Canada can play an important role in setting the table for peace; however, this requires change in Canadian policy. Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War is a global campaign to educate, organize, and advocate for a Korea peace agreement by 2020. Join the United Church in becoming part of this growing movement of individuals and organizations working for an end to war and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Take Action

  1. Send a message to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau using this form available from Korea Peace Now. Ask that the Canadian government
    • set the table for peace by reactivating diplomatic relations with North Korea
    • more fully join the conversation towards peace and greater engagement with North Korea as a vehicle to help address human rights concerns
    • lift restrictions on humanitarian groups to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable populations in North Korea 
    • help ensure women’s leadership and gender-based analysis are part of the peace process 
  2. Use the texts below and these easy-to-use campaign graphics to craft a message and share this Take Action on social media.

    On Twitter:

    Be part of ending a 70-year conflict. Send your message today to Canadian government decision makers calling on them to help set the table for lasting Korean peace. #UCCan #KoreaPeaceNow

    Canada can be part of the conversation on achieving Korean peace by reactivating North Korean diplomatic relations, easing humanitarian aid, and ensuring women are part of the peace process. Send your message to Canadian decision-makers. #UCCan #KoreaPeaceNow

    Tag @KoreaPeaceNow, @CanadianPM, @cafreeland, and @MaryamMonsef.

    On Facebook:

    Join the global campaign led by women’s peace organizations calling on the United States, North Korea, South Korea, and China to end the Korean War and include women in the peace processes. #UCCan #KoreaPeaceNow

    Canada can once again play an important role in setting the table for peace. Let @JustinPJTrudeau, @freelandchrystia, and @MonsefMaryam know you support Canadian leadership towards @koreapeacenow. #UCCan #KoreaPeaceNow

    Tag @koreapeacenow@JustinPJTrudeau, @freelandchrystia, and @MonsefMaryam.

  3. Host a letter-writing party. Encourage friends, family, and colleagues to show their support for lasting peace in Korea by writing to key decision-makers. Send your letters and e-mails to Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. You may wish to use this form available from Korea Peace Now.

Background

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached to the crowds and taught them that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

Throughout his ministry, Jesus reminded people of the need to pursue peace. The United Church’s A Song of Faith reflects that:

Jesus announced the coming of God’s reign—
a commonwealth not of domination
but of peace, justice, and reconciliation.

As disciples of Jesus, the people of the United Church can take action locally to move towards peace in Korea. We can join with partners in Korea—and the global ecumenical family—in a continued commitment to promote engagement and dialogue, challenge sanctions, work toward a peace treaty to end the Korean War, and strengthen the global movement to build peace, not conflict.

The United Church of Canada has engaged with the people of Korea for close to 120 years, supporting their desire for health, education, training, independence, democratization, and human rights. A March 2019 letter sent to the UN from the United Church and Canadian Voices of Women for Peace outlines our concern for humanitarian and human rights impacts of UN sanctions. Today, the church continues to work with partners in efforts for reconciliation and reunification between North and South Korea.

Key Facts

  • Canada began diplomatic relations with North Korea 18 years ago, but engagement has been very limited since 2010. Greater communication and engagement with North Korea can be a vehicle to help address human rights concerns.
  • Sanctions have had little political impact; in fact, they increase harm by limiting women's and children’s access to medicine and food.
  • Studies have shown that the participation of civil society groups (including women’s organizations) makes a peace agreement 64 per cent less likely to fail. When women participate in peace processes, the resulting agreements are 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years.

Send your letters and e-mails to:

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6
E-mail: justin.trudeau [at] parl.gc.ca

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
E-mail: chrystia.freeland [at] international.gc.ca

The Hon. Maryam Monsef
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality
E-mail: maryam.monsef [at] parl.gc.ca

Send copies of your letters and e-mails to:

Christie NeufeldtProgram Coordinator, Public Witness416-231-7680 ext. 4078
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4078
cneufeldt [at] united-church.ca

For more information, contact:

Patti TalbotTeam Leader Church in Partnership416-231-7680 ext. 4018
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4018
ptalbot [at] united-church.ca