As Tensions Escalate in Korea, Americans Demand Peace

(March 12, 2023) – As tensions run dangerously high on the Korean Peninsula, hundreds of peace advocates across the country will participate in the ninth annual Korea Peace Advocacy Week to urge their members of Congress to support a diplomatic solution to the conflict and a peace-first approach.

Running from March 18-22, 2024, Korea Peace Advocacy Week will consist of virtual lobby visits with 175 Congressional offices in 32 states to advocate for H.R.1369, the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act, which calls for serious, urgent diplomacy in pursuit of a binding peace agreement to formally end the Korean War. The bill — which currently has 39 co-sponsors, including bipartisan support — also calls for a review of the U.S. travel ban on North Korea, which prevents Korean Americans from visiting their families in North Korea and can impede the work of humanitarian aid groups.

This is an especially timely moment to support peace efforts, as Kim Jong Un recently announced that North Korea will no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea, the United States, South Korea, and Japan are holding larger and more frequent joint war drills, which have proven to raise tensions in the region, and some experts are warning that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dangerous than at any time since 1950.

Although it is known in the U.S. as “the Forgotten War,” the Korean War never ended but was merely halted by an armistice in 1953, which was supposed to be temporary. This unresolved state of war is the root cause of ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, has driven the extreme militarization of the Korean Peninsula, and has kept Korean families separated for decades. Furthermore, the U.S. approach of pressure and isolation has failed to improve the security crisis in Korea or the situation of human rights in North Korea. A peace-first approach would be a more realistic and effective method for improving the safety and well-being of Koreans and Americans.

“It’s clear that the U.S. public is tired of our government’s forever wars,” said Cathi Choi, Director of Policy and Organizing for Women Cross DMZ and co-coordinator of Korea Peace Advocacy Week. “We must redirect resources away from military spending toward investments that address the climate crisis, housing, and other urgent needs.”

“Advocacy Week is an important moment to join with other organizations and advocates from around the country to tell Congress that the people of the U.S. want a different relationship with the D.P.R.K.,” said Jennifer Deibert, D.P.R.K. Program Director for American Friends Service Committee. “In a recent public opinion poll conducted by The Harris Poll, a plurality of people in the U.S. want to end the war with a peace agreement and a strong majority want the U.S. government to engage with the D.P.R.K. on a variety of issues, including family reunions, delivery of humanitarian assistance by privately funded charities, and people-to-people exchanges. It’s time for Congress to listen to advocates and people in the U.S. and pass legislation that moves us toward peace, not war.”

”The United Methodist Church stands in firm commitment with the Christians of Korea, both North and South, and around the world in faithful actions to work towards peace, healing, and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula,” said Colleen Moore, Director of Peace With Justice at the General Board of Church and Society, the social justice agency of the United Methodist Church. “Especially as tensions continue to escalate, Korea Peace Advocacy Week is an opportunity for faith in action to advocate to Congress to pursue peace.”

“In the Anabaptist tradition we have a commitment to pursuing peace marked by seeking to engage those our government labels as ‘enemies’ with hospitality and mercy,” said Rebecca Burkholder, MCC Director of International Program. “Engaging this divide in a time of rising hostility may be one of our most important forms of holy witness in a world of increasing polarization which is desperate for signs of hope.

This will be the ninth year of coordinated advocacy days for the cause of peace in Korea, and the fifth year of advocacy days being held online due to the pandemic. When the initiative first started in 2015, only 12 people participated; the effort has now grown to include more than 200 people.

This year’s Korea Peace Advocacy Week is being organized by American Friends Service Committee, Korea Peace Now!, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Church & Society and Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, and Women Cross DMZ.



The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace.

MCC U.S. is a non-profit organization that strives to share God’s love and compassion through relief, development and peacebuilding. In addition to supporting MCC’s international work, our national and regional staff lead programs across the U.S.

General Board of Church and Society is a social justice agency of The United Methodist Church, dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace. Addressing more than 30 social issues on which The United Methodist Church has claimed a position, Church and Society communicates with policymakers and leaders around the world with the mission of transforming the world.

As the mission and humanitarian assistance agency of The United Methodist Church, Global Ministries leads The United Methodist Church in equipping, strengthening and transforming people and communities for God’s mission around the world. In its work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, Global Ministries envisions and facilitates mission so that churches and faith communities grow and flourish; justice, freedom, peace, health and well-being prevail across racial, cultural, national and political boundaries; and people of all faiths live in dignity and security, even when they face humanitarian disasters and their aftermath.

Women Cross DMZ is the leading feminist voice in the movement to bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula.