FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2018
“We come here today to heal the breach,” Rev. Jackson leads the first full day of his week-long peace mission and speaking tour of Korea.
IMJINGAK PARK, South Korea – The mountains and missiles of North Korea loomed in the near distance as Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., led a group of South Korean pastors here Monday over the Bridge of Freedom for an ecumenical prayer service for peace.
As they marched across the wooden structure once used by people fleeing the fighting in the North during the Korean War, Rev. Jackson and the “peace pastors” quietly sang, “We Shall Overcome.”
“We come here today to heal the breach,” Rev. Jackson said on the first full day of his week-long peace mission and speaking tour of Korea. “We come here today, standing in the gap. On both sides, family members need reunion, need revival, need resurrection.”
Imjingak is a park and monument dedicated to the ghosts of war. It is located about 4 ½ miles from the landmine littered and heavily fortified DMZ, once called by President Bill Clinton, “the scariest place on earth.”
But Imjingak is peaceful and pretty. It sits on the banks of the Imjin River and is a symbol of the hope many Koreans share that their divided and haunted peninsula can someday be reunified.
The Bridge of Freedom ends about halfway across at the Peace Prayer Wall, a tall fence, festooned with a rainbow of ribbons, representing the longing for peace and unification.
“Every Monday we get together to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said Jiseok Jung, director of the Border Peace School. “When we heard that Rev. Jesse Jackson was coming to Korea we really wanted to meet him. He’s a very important leader, working for world peace.”
Imjingak is about 26 miles from Seoul, where Rev. Jackson began his long day of activism Monday with a one-on-one meeting with the chair of the Korea National Assembly.
On Tuesday, Rev. Jackson, who was invited to Korea by the Minjung Party, will address members of the National Assembly in a speech entitled, “Peace and Justice Require Faith, Hope, Patience and Hard Work.”
Rev. Jackson will also convene with the peace and human rights community from all sectors of Korean society for events on Wednesday, July 27, the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice.
“Dear God,” Rev. Jackson prayed on Monday in Imjingak, “please have mercy upon us…So many bruises, so much bloodshed, so many deaths, there is much pain that separates us. The good news is there is nothing too hard for God. No mountain so high, no ocean so deep, no desert so hot, no war so violent, there is nothing too hard for You.
“We ask today, lift us up where we belong. We want to move today from war and battleground to common ground. Have mercy on us. There is renewed hope in the air today. We pray all of this in your son’s name.