Buddhist monks from 2 Koreas hold joint service

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Buddhist monks from North and South Korea prayed together in a rare joint religious service Monday in the North amid recent hopeful signs that animosity is easing between the rivals.

A group of South Korean monks traveled to North Korea on Saturday to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of an engraving of a major Buddhist scripture that's considered sacred by Buddhists in both Koreas.

Only a few South Korean civilians have been allowed to go to North Korea since May 2010, when Seoul banned nearly all civilian travel to the North except for those engaged in humanitarian aid to vulnerable children, pregnant women and disaster victims. The restriction came two months after North Korea allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors.

On Monday, monks from the two Koreas pressed their hands together in prayer and bowed before a statue of Buddha at the ancient Pohyon Temple, northwest of Pyongyang, to visit paper copies of the revered Buddhist scripture Tripitaka Koreana, according to footage from Associated Press Television News in North Korea. The originals are in South Korea.

"I think (the service) is a good opportunity to realize national reconciliation, unity and unification," said Cha Kum Chol from the North Korean Buddhist Association.

Tension soared following the warship sinking and deepened after North Korea shelled a South Korean island in November, killing four people.

Recently, however, there has been an easing of tension on the peninsula, with South Korea and the United States holding talks with North Korea over the resumption of long-stalled negotiations aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Pyongyang also said last month that it had accepted Washington's proposal to discuss recovering remains of American troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. A small but symbolic shipment of emergency U.S. flood aid also arrived in the North on Saturday.

The Korean peninsula remains in a state of war because the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea to deter potential aggression by North Korea.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options