This article was originally published in The Peace Report.

Rev. Jesse Jackson is in South Korea to spread the word of peace. Jackson has been traveling South Korea calling for more efforts to bring North Korea out of isolation, saying the country needs food and trade, not sanctions and starvation, according to Yonhap News.

Jackson has been speaking to representatives of the South Korean government, speaking at their National Assembly. Here he is speaking to U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Harry Harris:

Jackson said, “My heart is on fire. I am excited with the new possibility for a break of peace on this region”, in a press conference, a day before the country celebrates the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which brought the Korean War to a pause. He went on to say, “I hope tomorrow will be the last armistice day and officially make tomorrow a peace day from then on…a treaty to be signed to end the war”.

Jesse Jackson’s week long trip was organized by a mixture of Korean-American and South Korean activists who are involved with the Minjung Party. Jackson said he had previously visited South Korea in 1986 when he met with Kim Dae-Jung, who was then an activist for democratization under house arrest and later went on to be South Korea’s president, 1998-2003.

“South Korea is prosperous (but) poverty abounds in North Korea. We are in prosperity, but live still in fear,” he said. “Men cannot live by prosperity alone. We must live in hope, not in fear and the two (Koreas) must not stop dreaming the dream of one big tent where we are all in, not out.”

The reverend also went on to call for a series of measures to connect the two Koreas more closely, which would involve reunions of families separated by the Korean War. Part of this closer connection could involve a railroad linking the countries. “If there’s bullet train from Seoul to Pyongyang, it will reduce the Demilitarized Zone to a museum of things of the past”. Jackson added, “Peace is possible. There’s no future in war.

“Walls and borders will not protect us from fear… We must build bridges over the walls and borders”.

Here is a video of Jesse Jackson addressing members of the National Assembly in Korea:

(Video: Rainbow PUSH Coalition)


This article was originally published in The Peace Report.


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