“A new era of peace” in Korea

The leaders of North and South Korea met in an historic meeting and signed an agreement pledging “no more war” and the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, calling this a “new era of peace.”

This is a stunning development in light of recent rising tensions between our president and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. I would think that the cooperation between North and South Korea during the Winter Olympics was a helpful step in this process.

An agricultural delegation from North Korea visited the Midwest in 2001 (see article below),  including a visit and pot luck dinner at Bear Creek Friends Meeting. Last year, when Bear Creek Friends began talking about inviting another North Korean delegation to Iowa, we weren’t sure such a visit would be possible under the new travel ban that included North Korea. But we approved a letter inviting another visit, which was published by the Des Moines Register.

A letter to North Korea

Dear friends,
Many of us at Bear Creek Friends meeting, in the Iowa countryside, were present, and fondly remember the visit of a delegation from your country in 2001. We enjoyed sharing a meal, having you visit one of our farms, and talking together about farming and each other’s families and lives.
Most of us are either farmers or have been involved in farming, and share your interest in providing food for others. It deeply saddens us to know not everyone has enough to eat, in our own country and around the world. We are very interested in doing whatever we can to help improve this troubling situation.
We would welcome another visit from your country. It would be very good to continue to share each other’s work and stories. To talk about how we can provide more food for the world.

Bear Creek Friends Meeting
Earlham, Iowa

In March, Linda Lewis and Daniel Jasper, American Friends Service Committee staff who work with North Korean farmers visited Bear Creek and Des Moines Valley Friends Meetings, and Scattergood Friends School and Farm, to talk about their work in North Korea, and discuss possible ways to make another North Korean visit to Iowa happen.

Recently Daniel wrote that he had been invited to the U.S. State Department to talk about possible North Korean/U.S. exchanges in case the meeting of President and Kim Jong Un happens, and is successful. He told them about the interest of Iowa Quakers. Hopefully this news about a new era of peace in Korea will help make a another visit to Iowa a reality.

AFSC article about North Korean ag visit to Iowa Spring 2001 Edited 2

North Korea visit to Bear Creek 2001

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