Speaking at the Catholic Institute of Northeast Asian Peace on Korean security today.

Flyer is below.

Conference is streaming live on YouTube now:

I’ll post from this event, including my presentation’s argument, in this thread as we go.

The bishop of this diocese just referred to the Church in North Korea as the ‘Church in Silence.’ Interesting term; never heard that before.

Also, there is one Catholic church in NK. But no priests, so no mass.

When I was in Catholic school in the 80s, the nuns told us that the Soviet Union was tying to destroy the Church

Catholic opinion in South Korea is divided over N Korea in a way American Catholicism never was over communism during the Cold War. This event is very progressive

The Korean divide is very tricky for Catholic opinion here. The participants at this event are trying to find a way to encourage reconciliation. But N Korea is so closed,it’s impossible. In the east bloc,the churches had a little freedom of action. So they could provide some

nonpolitical bridges between the two sides. But here, it’s just impossible; NK gives no room at all. And it’s important that South Korea Catholic progressives not be manipulated by N Korea as Lenin’s ‘useful idiots.’ It’s tricky.

And now comes a basic problem of progressive efforts at reconciliation: the effort to re-write the start of the Korean war to suggest it was somehow both sides’ fault. THIS IS NOT TRUE. We know that Kim Il Sung wanted the war and pitched it to both Stalin and Mao

If you’re streaming this, I’ll be speaking in the next 10 minutes or so

Don’t miss my festive tie

My argument:

The US is consistently more hawkish toward N Korea than SK is now. The reason is the lack, in the US, of a major leftish-dovish bloc arguing for accommodation & engagement with NK like there is in SK. Trump might have change that but his effort was to amateurish

Conference effort to end the Korean War: en.endthekoreanwar.net/home

Mixed feelings on a peace treaty.

Deterrence, not a treaty, keeps the peace here. A formal end to the war inches us closer toward recognition of N Korea. That locks in the division of the peninsula. If we must do that, then we should at least trade that for something.

N Korean theocracy is another tricky issue for progressive S Korean Catholics

NK is not Marxist. It’s a para-religious cult state, complete with a half man-half divine leader. If that sounds like Jesus, it’s supposed to.

Hence no mass or priests in NK.They already have god

Every speaker at this conference (except me) called for a peace treaty. And I’ve heard this repeatedly at conferences for years now.

This seems to be the big new progressive idea to change Korea.The previous idea to change everything was a summit between POTUS and N Korea’s

leader. Trump’s clownishness blew that up.

First, I doubt big-bang ideas will suddenly change a long-frozen conflict. The gaps are real and wide

Second, these progressive ideas constantly dance around the nature of the DPRK, its basic orwellian awfulness and implacability


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More from @Robert_E_Kelly

13 Nov
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