A delegation from the Orthodox Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK 朝鲜民主主义人民共和国) arrived in Vladivostok from Pyongyang (平壤) on December 8th. Archbishop Veniamin of Vladivostok and Primorsk blessed the Orthodox North Korean clerics to take their liturgical practicum in St. Nicholas Episcopal cathedral, reports Sedmitza.Ru.
The delegation is headed by the vice chairman of the DPRK Orthodox Committee, Petr [Pyotr] Kim Chkher. The delegation also includes two Korean deacons, Fyodor and Ioann, who were ordained in the Russian Orthodox Church after completing studies in the Moscow Theological Seminary. The purpose of their 3 month long stay in Vladivostok is to study practical aspects of conducting Orthodox services.
During the meeting with the Korean delegation in the diocesan offices, Archbishop Veniamin became acquainted with the members of the delegation, took an interest in their successful theological formation and in the problems which the Korean clerics now have. Vladyka was told that the construction of Trinity church in Pyongyang is almost complete; that the cupola topped by a cross has been installed, but that the interior furnishings are still lacking. Archbishop Veniamin was invited to the church's tentative consecration date next August.
Vladyka blessed Deacons Fyodor and Ioann to take practicum in the Episcopal cathedral and, as they wished, to diligently study the divine services in the church Slavonic language. In addition to the two deacons, another Korean, Kim En Chang, a graduate the Gnesin Music School in Moscow, will remain in the cathedral to study church singing and choir directing.
The choice of Vladivostok for the further training of the Korean clerics, made by the Orthodox Committee of the DPRK, was blessed by the Most Holy Patriarch Alexy. Vladivostok was chosen because of the favorable impression made on committee representatives during previous visits to the Vladivostok diocese as well as Primorye's geographical proximity to Korea and the presence of a DPRK general consulate.
The Vladivostok Diocese has a historical connection with the Orthodox mission in Korea. From 1906 to 1917 missionary work among Koreans and in the southern Primorye region, as well as in Korea itself was overseen by bishop Pavel (Ivanovsky) of Nikolsk-Ussurisk. A translation committee in Vladivostok translated some services and prayers.