April 12, 2000
volume 11, no. 73
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Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

"Each Step Must Have the Entire Nation's Support"

    SEOUL, APR 11 ( Although the news of a future summit in Pyongyang between North and South Korea was welcome, it has caused fear among some South Koreans. A few days ago, a music festival of the two Koreas, which had been planned for months, was cancelled by the North Korean authorities at the last minute. It was these very authorities who had requested the funds for the festival in the first place.

    In commenting on the news to the Vatican agency "Fides," Cardinal Stephen Kim, 78, said: "We welcome the summit. The Catholic Church has always worked for the reconciliation of our people." Cardinal Kim who, in keeping with Canon Law resigned at the age of 75, is presently Archbishop Emeritus of Seoul. He follows all developments in his country with great interest.

    In spite of all the changes, not everyone in South Korea is happy. "Some members of the opposition are skeptical about this sudden announcement, given just a few weeks before the parliamentary elections. They say it is an electoral gimmick by the party in government," the Cardinal commented.

    "In principle we work and hope for the success of the June summit. It must be said that the reunification will only be possible if it is done peacefully, without war or revolution. If the summit is to be successful, it must be preceded by reconciliation and cooperation. But, above all, it must have the consent of the entire nation, our people of the North and those of the South," the Cardinal explained.

    Cardinal Kim, who was Archbishop of Seoul for 30 years, was also Apostolic Administrator in Pyongyang, the northern capital, although he has never been allowed to visit the other Korea. "I hope to do so before I die," he confided to "Fides." ZE00041106


April 12, 2000
volume 11, no. 73

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