Patriarch Kirill meets with Chairman of the DPRK Orthodox Committee


August 27, 2018 in the Red hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow held a meeting of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril with the President of the Orthodox Committee of the Democratic people’s Republic Vitaly Kim Chi Sleep and other representatives of the DPRK, according to patriarhiei.

The meeting was attended by:

from the Korean side — the Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Korea in the Russian Federation Kim Hyun-Joon, first Secretary, representative of the DPRK Embassy in Moscow On Chol Zine, priest Vladimir Zhang, deacon Basil Hwang, deacon Paul Pak, deacon George young, Kim sun-Il;

the Russian Orthodox Church, the head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate, administrator of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Eastern and South-East Asia, Archbishop Sergius of Solnechnogorsk, specialist of the Khabarovsk theological Seminary for work with foreign students of the priest Nicholas of Columns, the head of the Press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia priest Alexander Volkov, an employee of the Department for external Church relations, and D. I. Petrovsky.

Also the meeting was attended by Secretary-referent of the First Asian Department of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation M. A. Jamalidinov.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, his Holiness said: “Dear brothers, I am pleased to welcome you to Moscow, especially his brother Vitali as Chairman of the Orthodox Committee of the Democratic people’s Republic. This is Your first visit. Your predecessor had spent some time in Moscow. And I want to say is always glad to welcome our brothers from Korea. I personally have been in the North and in the South, and really respect the Korean culture, the monuments to Korean history. I must say that I have a personal sympathy for the Korean people, which was supported by my visits in both North and South Korea.”

His Holiness noted that the Russian-Korean relations have a long history, although the official diplomatic relations between the countries were established rather late — in 1884. In 1897 Korea was established the Russian ecclesiastical mission.

“I would like to Express my satisfaction at the attention which has personally, to our Church leader of your country Mr. Kim Jong-UN. Maybe Mr Kim Jong-UN ever wish to visit this temple. For us it would be a very momentous and important event. For this event, I would have to send to Pyongyang a high delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church,” said Patriarch Kirill.

“It is great that you send young people to study in the Khabarovsk theological Seminary, continued the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. In the past two years, four of your students have studied at our Seminary, they are already ordained as deacons. Remember in 2006, when visiting Pyongyang, I was ordained one of the deacons to the priesthood. Yesterday I had the opportunity to ordain father Vladimir to the rank of priest. And more will be done tomorrow ordination as a priest. I believe that with the advent of the Orthodox clergy in North Korea will meet the needs of Orthodox believers”.

“Of course you know that already in 1900 in the South, in Seoul, was built Orthodox Church. We are making some effort to restore the temple, but, unfortunately, it is still impossible for some reasons not well understood, — said the Patriarch. But we have the intention to restore the temple to Orthodox believers could make a joint contribution to the peaceful unification of their Motherland”.

His Holiness noted with satisfaction that the political situation on the Korean Peninsula develops in a positive direction. “I am deeply convinced that a comprehensive settlement of the problems of the Korean Peninsula can be achieved only by peaceful means. Expressing his opinion that the task of the world community is creating conditions to overcome the suffering of the Korean people split due to the political conflicts of the twentieth century. And the international community should support these efforts of the Korean people to unite, but not to interfere in the internal Affairs of the Koreans. I am convinced that the people of North and South Korea alone is capable of overcoming the mediastinum without interference from outside,” — said his Holiness Patriarch Kirill.

The Primate of the Russian Church was named a landmark event held in April 2018 meet DPRK leader Kim Jong-UN and President of the Republic of Korea moon Jae-In. “Of course, we very much welcome the fact that the meeting of leaders of the Democratic people’s Republic and the Republic of Korea and the signing of the agreement on 27 April. It really was a landmark event. I think that a signed Declaration opens up very specific opportunities to strengthen the process of integration of the two parts of Korea. Proclaimed the principles of relations between North and South Korea, such as national reconciliation, peacefulness, the desire to unite the Korean people, we are very close and clear. And, of course, meet your leader, Chairman of the state Council, Kim Jong-UN and President Donald trump became one of the steps to consolidate the positive dynamics in the settlement of regional problems. It is very important to this epoch-making event contributed to the reduction of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. I believe that in the framework of the signed Declaration can and should develop humanitarian cooperation on the Korean Peninsula”, — said the Patriarch.

“Russia could and would have to take part in this process — expressed conviction of his Holiness. And we as a Church would be willing to develop and strengthen humanitarian ties, including to expand contacts between the believers of our countries.”

“We are very pleased that you are here with us today. God grant that developed the relationship of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Orthodox of the Korean people’s Democratic Republic to develop and strengthen relations between our countries and peoples”, — concluded his Holiness Patriarch Kirill

The Chairman of the Orthodox Committee of the Democratic people’s Republic Vitaly Kim Chi Dream in his speech warmly thanked the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church for the warm welcome and special attention to the North Korean delegation. Vitaly Kim Chi Dream said that he and his companions make a very rich and interesting pilgrimage in Russia, visiting many Orthodox churches and monasteries. According to him, this visit allowed the guests from North Korea to make sure once again that the Russian Orthodox Church played an exceptional role in the history and culture of Russia. The Chairman of the Orthodox Committee of the DPRK added that Holy Trinity Church in Pyongyang successfully performs his Ministry.

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