Tensions in the Korean Peninsula

Due to North Korea’s nuclear experiments, the tension on the Korean Peninsula continues to build. We have not had such a serious situation as this since the ceasefire of the Korean War in 1953. Even though there were several provocations by North Korea before, South Koreans have remained relatively patient because they do not wish for another tragic war. In America, most assume that the North and South will fight; however, both sides know that they will never openly attack each other first. The situation now is a bit different. It is becoming clear that there is a greater chance that an outside force will start a war. This is due to the extreme hostility between the United States and North Korea. North Korea desperately needs a leverage over the United States for its own regime and safety, and it believes that the means to obtain an American response lies in nuclear development that could threaten the United States. Therefore, they will never stop developing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be used against the United States. This, in turn, has aggravated the U.S. into considering military actions against North Korea, which could be devastating for this whole peninsula.

America’s greatest obstacle is not North Korea’s military or even their missiles. It is the lives and safety of 20 million citizens living in Seoul and its surrounding cities. North and South will not attack each other first. So, despite the complex and dangerous situation, people go about their lives normally and everyone wishes for a peaceful resolution. That is why the negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea are important, and the two countries should remember that the lives at stake are more important than any reputation or benefit. It is obvious that if a war does happen, North Korea will be wiped off the map, but we should first think about who will take responsibility for the hundreds of thousands and millions of victims who will be sacrificed during that time.

That is why we cannot help but admit that the fate of this country and its inhabitants are in God’s hands. It is hard to find a solution, and man’s power or patience is not something to be trusted. The churches in South Korea can only remember our painful history and desperately pray for God to bless this country. However, I feel that the long, patient, earnest prayer is decreasing. The churches are becoming more and more secular, and the young people are slowly leaving the churches. There is a rise in prosperity and an anthropocentric gospel that robs God of His true glory. We hope that more people will rise up and pray, realizing that this country is dependent upon God’s mercy and grace.

The Free Presbyterian Church in Korea has just completed its third year. Every Sunday we meet for services, and on Wednesdays there are prayer meetings. In addition, there is a campus Bible study for the college students every other week. This meeting is to give our church’s college students a chance to have fellowship and spiritual training in the gospel and an opportunity to bring friends to hear the gospel in a secular college society. We meet in a place called a “study café” where we can drink tea and coffee, but it is designed so that college students can also study. It is a joy to read A. W. Pink’s books and study the Bible with them. Please pray that God will use this ministry for spiritual growth and an opportunity to spread the gospel.

We also have a book club every other week where we read and study books together. At this meeting we invite our friends and neighbors to join us. We are currently studying Thomas Watson’s “A Body of Divinity”, and a neighbor with two children has joined us. Pray that this family will learn the gospel and join us to worship the Lord. God has allowed us to move our church. The previous place was old with uncomfortable facilities. Now our building is in a more accessible area with a parking lot and an elevator.

I remember when I attended the Korean Free Presbyterian Church in Greenville, how earnestly Pastor David Lee prayed for the other Free Presbyterian churches. That is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to start a Free Presbyterian Church in Korea. I believed that with such prayers God would surely be with us. Please pray for the conversion of our young people and for the church in Korea to be revived. I believe that God has a people who will pursue after Christ in this world. If we continue to work faithfully, God will lead them to us. We are all praying for God to bless the ministry in North America, Northern Ireland, Africa, and every one of the Free Presbyterian Churches.

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By Seongkyu Lee

Rev. Seongkyu Lee is minister of Gwangmyeong Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Seoul, South Korea.