North Korea has a history of evil and tyranny. They starve and persecute their own people. They have a horrible record on human rights. It’s a totalitarian police state.
The Korean War was fought from 1950-53. Hundreds of thousands of troops from the north and south as well as the United States, China, and other countries died. But the war never officially ended. There has been hostility between the north and south. A heavily fortified demilitarization zone has divided the Korean peninsula.
A constant in North Korea has been the rule of the Kim Dynasty, with Kim Il-sung rising to power after Japan lost control of the north in 1945 (Kim Il-sung became premier of North Korea in 1948).
But today, April 27, 2018, in an historic summit between Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, the two countries have vowed to end hostilities and officially declared an end to the Korean War.
In the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace and Unification of the Korean Peninsula, the two countries are committing to working together to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
If this all works to achieve peace and unity on the Korean Peninsula, this is something to be celebrated.
Time will tell if North Korea is sincere in holding up their end of the bargain.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that true believers would be recognized by their fruits (Matthew 7:20).
I see an illustration to the gospel and sincere vs phony conversions compared to North Korea’s sincerity or insincerity to pursue peace.
One of the biggest thing people misunderstand about Christianity is that there’s a difference between a person saying that they have faith and a person who actually has faith.
One of the ways to know if faith is genuine is by seeing a life that is transformed by the gospel. We’re known by our fruit. Apple trees produces apples. Trees that are rooted in Christ are meant to produce love, joy, and righteousness (among other things).
It should be easy to tell if North Korea really does want to work for greater peace and unity. Actions will back it up.
Again, if this is a sincere effort, this day will be long remembered. It’ll be one of the most significant events of the 21st century. But let’s also wait for the harvest and see what kind of fruit North Korea produces.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.