Global Peace Forum on Korea brings together diplomats, church leaders, and activists

It was the first time diplomats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea joined such an event.
October 2, 2018
Korea peace forum
Keum Soon Lee (left) and Re Ki Ho (right) singing the traditional Korean song, “I am a Child of the Fatherland,” at the 2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea. Photo by Doug Hostetter, Mennonite Central Committee.

At the 2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea September 29–30, as a brass ensemble played the traditional Korean song, “I am a Child of the Fatherland,” Re Ki Ho, a North Korean diplomat, sang after spontaneously striding to the microphone and was joined by Keum Soon Lee, who is Korean American. Many in the room became tearful.

It was the first time diplomats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea joined South Korean government officials and civil society leaders from nations who were part of peace talks about the North Korean nuclear weapons program. Leaders from the National Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church, and Mennonite Central Committee had convened the event in New York in late September for scholars, politicians, religious leaders, and activists to participate in formal and informal conversations.