Caritas Calls for Peace Talks in North Korea

Warns Against Actions That Could Destabilize Region

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BEIJING, China, JUNE 16, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Caritas is calling for peace talks in North Korea to ease the tensions and to lower the risk of military actions that will further endanger the poor.



A press release from Caritas reported today the conclusions of a meeting in Beijing about the growing tensions in the region. After the North Korean government conducted nuclear weapons tests and announced plans to strengthen its arms programs, U.N. sanctions were imposed on the country.

Meeting participants, including Caritas members from Asia, North America and Europe, called for a denuclearization of the area and for peace talks to help prevent escalation into military action.

The organization asserted that "resorting to armed confrontation will have devastating consequences for the poor in North Korea" and will "destabilize the region."

The Caritas secretary general, Lesley-Anne Knight, stated, "Genuine negotiations with concrete outcomes for improving the daily living conditions of the people are vital steps in reducing the suffering and engaging with North Korea to find a solution to this crisis."

She continued, "The desperate situation many North Koreans find themselves in needs addressing by the international community."

The agency reported a humanitarian crisis where some 8.7 million of the citizens need food assistance, and many are unable to get any aid.

Knight stated: "A major part of the population is highly vulnerable, living in a precarious state where basic needs are not met. They should not be the victims of their government's provocations."