SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- The annual release of a joint prayer by two Christian associations in South and North Korea is likely to be canceled this year for the first time in more than 30 years amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the South's participating religious organization said Tuesday.
According to the South's National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), it has sent a draft of the joint prayer for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula for 2020 to its North Korean counterpart, the Korean Christian Federation (KCF).
But the KCF has not yet responded to the NCCK's report, it said.
The NCCK and the KCF have announced their joint prayer ahead of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day every year since 1989.
If the North side remains silent until Aug. 15, it will be the first time in 31 years that the two sides will fail to speak with a consolidated voice for the inter-Korean prayer to wish for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
The NCCK-KCF prayer has continued for decades even when South Korea was under the conservative Park Geun-hye government.
The annual joint prayer for Easter, which started in 1996, has been put on hold since last year.
The NCCK said it is still waiting for the KCF's response, while it released its own prayer for the Liberation Day on Monday.
"Sometimes in the past, the KCF sent a reply right before the day, so we are waiting for it," an NCCK official said. "If the joint project for Liberation Day is called off following the cancellation of the Easter one, we will feel very sorry."
N. Korea's withdrawal from Tokyo Olympics dampens hope for renewing inter-Korean sports cooperation
Sino-U.S. tensions, tighter China-N.K. ties feared to weaken denuke efforts
Moon vows close cooperation with Biden for Korea peace process
Biden's speech signals better ties with Seoul, less drama with Pyongyang
N. Korea leaves room for inter-Korean ties but challenges lay ahead with 'conditions'