The sun rises Jan. 30 over the rings of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on a beach in Gangneung, South Korea. The Olympics begin Feb. 9. (CNS photo/Jeon Heon-Kyun, EPA)
The sun rises Jan. 30 over the rings of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on a beach in Gangneung, South Korea. The Olympics begin Feb. 9. (CNS photo/Jeon Heon-Kyun, EPA)

A South Korean bishop wants the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to be a steppingstone for achieving peace in the region, reported ucanews.com.

Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon, president of the Korean bishops' Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, released a statement hoping "the Olympics, feast of peace, will be a turning point to reduce the uneasiness and to settle peace on the peninsula." 

North Korea is sending a large team of athletes and an art company to the Olympics, which start Feb. 9.

Bishop Lee of Uijeongbu, which borders North Korea, said: "North Korea's participation is meaningful as it is a step forward to a new era of peace by ending the long-lasting struggles. As Pope Francis stresses, we should welcome North Korean delegates based on fraternity full of love.

"We should make hay while the sun shines. We need to see this precious opportunity as a chance for coexistence and a new era where future generations freely go and come between the two Koreas."

Bishop Lee urged disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms, for the complete settlement of peace on the peninsula.

He also stressed the need for more meetings and dialogue between the two Koreas to recover trust and partnership.