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Korean bishops see uncertainty, opportunity after dictator's death

Catholic World News - December 19, 2011

The death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il could be “a turning point for the path of reunification of the Koreas,” says Bishop Peter Kang of Cheju, the president of the South Korean bishops’ conference.

Bishop Kang acknowledged that a quick reunification is highly unlikely, and the political transition in North Korea could produce instability. But in time, there may be new opportunities for dialogue and for evangelization.

Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Daejeon agreed that the immediate future will be “a period of confusion” in North Korea. He worried that “harsh conflict” could occur between competing factions after the dictator’s death. Without hazarding a prediction about the future, he said: “we must pray and work so that peace wins.”

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