In the wake of last month’s inter-Korean summit, The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and North Korea’s Buddhist Federation adopted an inter-Korean statement to mark the religious celebration. Earlier this month, North Korea’s Buddhist Federation sent a draft of the statement to its South Korean counterpart.*
The statement was recited simultaneously by members of both groups during their respective services. It was the first time in three years that North and South Korean Buddhist organizations adopted a joint gathering in celebration of the Buddhist holiday.
The Panmunjom Declaration “is a flare announcing a new start of history, and a landmark to open up a new era of autonomous unification and connect the divided peoples [of South and North Korea],” the prayer read. It also stated that the declaration was an affirmation of the principle of self-determination, allowing both Koreas to decide their own fate.