Bishop Is Part of Delegation in Pyongyang

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SEOUL, South Korea, OCT. 2, 2007 ( The president of the episcopal conference is part of the delegation from South Korea that arrived in Pyongyang today for diplomatic talks.

Bishop John Chang-yik of Ch'unch'on is part of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's delegation to North Korea, the leader of Caritas Korea told AsiaNews.

Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Daejon told the news agency: "Even if religious freedom will not be discussed by the two leaders, the presence of our president among the Seoul delegation is very important."

He added: "This invitation shows that even North Korea is beginning to understand the importance of dialogue. Moreover, this trip opens new and different paths of opportunity compared to 2000, because it forces the two protagonists to face the problems afflicting the two nations."

The regime “knows that without international aid it risks witnessing another travesty among its people and that this time it would mark the end," Bishop You said. "As president of the national Caritas, I can say that these people are really in dire need of almost everything, from medicines to food: The path to healing for that nation, however, is a path of dialogue. The only alternative is complete destruction."