Mission Leader Calls North Korean Test “Deplorable”
And Calls for International Nuclear Disarmament
Stamford, CT, October 9, 2006—The chief mission executive of The United Methodist Church strongly protested the testing of a nuclear weapon by North Korea on October 8.
“It is a deplorable act of aggression against the prospects of a more peaceful world,” said the Rev. R. Randy Day in a statement issued on the opening day of the annual meeting of directors of the church’s General Board of Global Ministries.
He also called upon all nations with nuclear capacity to eliminate nuclear weapons. North Korea, he said, is not the only country that holds the threat of nuclear holocaust over the heads of the world’s people.
The United Methodist Church, as Day noted, has a long history of opposition to nuclear weapons and their testing. The use or threat of such weapons were called “evil and morally wrong” by the church’s legislating General Conference in the year 2000.
Day expressed concern for the people of both North and South Korea at this time of crisis, and he called upon nuclear powers and the United Nations to use the occasion of the North Korean test to hasten the work of nuclear disarmament.
The full text of Day’s statement follows:
Statement on North Korean Nuclear Testing
North Korea’s claim to have detonated a nuclear test weapon is deeply disturbing. If true, the test is a deplorable act of aggression against the prospects of a more peaceful world. It is detrimental to peace and justice on the Korean peninsula and will have a destabilizing political effect in Asia.
Nuclear weapons are menaces to all forms of life on the planet and to the Earth itself. This is true of the arsenals of the several nuclear nations. Such weapons must be controlled and rapidly eliminated by international covenant. The government of North Korea blatantly went against the pleas of many other nations in carrying out its underground test on October 8 but it is not alone in holding the threat of nuclear holocaust over the heads of the world’s people.
The United Methodist Church strongly opposes the “production and testing of weapons designed to destroy or harm God’s creation, such as all chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.” This affirmation made by the 2000 General Conference goes on to urge the abolition of such weapons and the cleanup of sites contaminated by the waste from chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
The church has repeatedly called for the ending of all testing, use, or stockpiling of nuclear weapons and for enforceable means of bringing the age of nuclear weapons to a close.
Citing long standing opposition to nuclear weapons by the United Methodist Council of Bishops, the 2000 General Conference also said:
My colleagues and I are deeply concerned that North Korea, one of the world’s poorest nations, has used limited resources for nuclear military purposes. The General Board of Global Ministries has sent food supplies to North Korea and otherwise expressed concern for the people of that nation. We value our links with the Christian Federation in North Korea.
We are prayerfully concerned for the people of both South and North Korea. We think especially of our friends in the Korean Methodist Church, and join with them in prayer for peace and stability, and eventual unification, in their land. We hold our Korean brothers and sisters in our hearts at this time of crisis and extend to them the love that defines the God of peace and hope.
We also pray that the occasion of the North Korean nuclear test will hasten work of nuclear disarmament by the United Nations and the nuclear powers themselves.
October 9, 2006
Date posted: Oct 09, 2006