Andrew Yeom Soo-jung: The Peace Envoy in the Shadow of the Nuclear Weapons

24 February 2020

In May 2014, as the first Catholic leader, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul crossed the border of the dictatorial North Korea in.. The Archbishop visited the Kaesong Industrial Park on the northern side of the border, where South Koreans work as well. A Holy Mass celebration was also planned, but this did not come to pass. Regardless, the Cardinal made history hoping that he can promote the dialogue between the two countries.

“During my visit in the Kaesong Industrial Park – where North and South has to live together – I have seen the hope that the two countries can overcome their sadness and pain of the past. I believe that with the honest attempt of the benevolent people we can create peace in the Peninsula”

Andrew Yeom Soo-jung stated.

His visit to North Korea was prepared for three months, but due to security reasons, it was publicly announced only the day before his departure. The spring of 2014 was full of extreme tension in the lives of the two countries. During the previous year Kim Jong-un has ordered a series of executions. The North Korean dictator has put even his uncle – who was considered as the second most influential man of the country – to court-martial. Jang Song-thaek was declared a traitor and immediately executed.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung has been fighting for the peace of the two countries for a long time, as well as against the persecution and the atheist view in the North. The Archbishop of Seoul is a direct descendant of martyrs, two of his ancestors were executed because of their faith in 1850.

The South Korean Catholic Church has a 200 years of history. The first 100 years was the period of persecution, since that time the Catholisicm was considered as a dangereous, anti-government religion. The South Corean Church commemorates ten thousand of martyrs. Holy II. John Paul and Pope Frances has beatified many victims of the Christian persecution.

In South Korea the Church is living its golden age: in the past five decades the number of believers grew from half a million to 5,3 million. A background to this growth might be that the Church was always critical and against the military dictatorships. According the leaked new, in North Korea the practice of any religion is forbidden, only three churches –established for foreigners- are working, . During Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea, the Catholics from North were also invited to the pontifical mass, which – according to the news from the sources of the Church – was declined.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-young, Archbishop of Seoul is still working hard on the dialogue between North and South. He also recognised that the mass media has an enormous effect in the lives of the 21st century people. He even founded the Peace Broadcasting Corporation.

The media founder Archbishop of Seoul is working for the peace between the two Koreas is going to have a lecture on the HungExpo. Should you like to meet him, please do not forget to register!