Join the National Grassroots Gathering for Peace in Korea in March 2020

2020 marks the 70th year of the Korean War. It’s time to end the war and make it year one of peace.

Join the Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network, Peace Treaty Now and the Korea Peace Network in Washington DC to raise a unified voice for an end to the Korean War and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

What: 70 Years Too Long: National Action to End the Korean War

Where: Washington, DC

When: March 15-17, 2020

3/15: March and rally at the White House

3/16: Annual Korea Peace Network Conference

3/17: Korea peace advocacy on the Hill

For more info: contact US National Organizer Hyun Lee.

Letter to President Trump and Chairman Kim from the Korea Peace Now! Campaign

December 16, 2019

Dear President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un:

We are representatives of Korea Peace Now!, a women-led global campaign to end the Korean War. Our coalition includes Nobel Peace laureates, activists, professors, human rights lawyers, a retired Army colonel, and a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

We are writing to respectfully urge you to find a peaceful settlement while the window of diplomatic opportunity is still open.

Christmas has been an occasion to call for peace on earth and goodwill to all people. During World War I, there were spontaneous truces in which soldiers would cast aside their guns, crawl out of the trenches, and embrace their enemies. We appeal to you to demonstrate the same magnanimous spirit.

A return to escalation would not only reignite the danger of nuclear war, but also seriously set back the political momentum for peace painstakingly built over the past two years. Ever since the Singapore Declaration called for “new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity,” we have seen growing and unprecedented support for normalization.  A recent poll conducted by YouGov and Data for Progress shows that 67 percent of Americans now support negotiating a peace agreement with the DPRK, and support is even higher among registered Republican voters, at 76 percent.

As a global movement dedicated to ending the Korean War, we have consistently advocated that a durable resolution of the conflict requires a peace agreement, sanctions relief, women’s participation in the peace process, and the right of all to live without fear of nuclear war. Any delay prolongs the suffering of those who wish to live in peace.

Next June, the Korean War will have languished for 70 years. We must all push back against the forces, habits, and structures that perpetuate it.

As peace activists, we are doing our utmost to educate the public, organize peace-loving people everywhere, and encourage all sides to find a resolution. Thanks to the bold steps you have taken to meet and engage with each other, the historic resolution we helped introduce in the US Congress this year to formally end the Korean War with a peace agreement now has over 40 co-sponsors, and the list is growing.

There can be no progress or resolution, however, without meaningful talks. Too often, one step forward in diplomacy is followed by two steps back in opposition. This Christmas, we urge you to finish what you started and do what no other US and DPRK leaders have succeeded in doing: end the Korean War.

You have the power to heal millions of hearts broken by three generations of war. We are counting on you to implement the vision of peace that Koreans, Americans, and all citizens of the world wish for.

May peace prevail on the Korean Peninsula and around the world.

Sincerely,

Korean Women’s Movement for Peace (Korea Women’s Association United, Women Making Peace, National YWCA of Korea, and Korea Women’s Alliance)

Nobel Women’s Initiative

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Women Cross DMZ

Liz Bernstein Announced as Co-Coordinator of Korea Peace Now!

Effective immediately, Liz Bernstein has been named Co-Coordinator of the global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War.

Bernstein is the founding Director and Executive Director of the Ottawa-based Nobel Women’s Initiative, one of four organizations — including Women Cross DMZ, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and the Korean Women’s Movement for Peace — that launched the Korea Peace Now! campaign in March. She brings with her decades of experience in growing the global women’s peace movement and amplifying the messages of grassroots activists from conflict countries. She is a master campaigner and has led many successful global campaigns, including the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Bernstein joins Christine Ahn, Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ, as Co-Coordinator of Korea Peace Now!

“I’m honored to be named the co-coordinator of the women-led Korea Peace Now! campaign,” said Bernstein. “Ending the Korean War is one of the important pressing issues for global peace and security, and women’s leadership is key to ensuring a successful peace process. I look forward to working with our campaign partners to achieve these goals.”

Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War is a global campaign to educate, organize and advocate for a Korea peace agreement. It is a growing movement of civil society organizations working for an end to war, lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and women’s inclusion in the peace process.

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Letter to UN Security Council Regarding Sanctions on North Korea

Members of the United Nations Security Council

December 11, 2019

Dear Ambassadors,

We are writing to you as members of the international women-led campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War.  

As you gather today to discuss the security crisis on the Korean Peninsula, we urge you to take a holistic approach considering the human costs of sanctions-based responses. The North Korean civilian population is caught in the crossfire of a geopolitical dispute they have little to no control over, perpetuated by the lack of resolution to the Korean War and made more acute by the imposition of sanctions so comprehensive they threaten their very existence. As it is part of the fundamental principles of the United Nations to settle disputes peacefully and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, we urge you to call for an end to the Korean War and to review the conformity of nonproliferation sanctions to international human rights and humanitarian law.

Recently, our campaign commissioned a panel of independent experts to produce a report, “The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea,” which highlighted the negative consequences of sanctions on the lives of the North Korean people. According to the report, the sanctions regime against North Korea has since 2016 grown from a “smart sanctions” model essentially targeting the military and the elite to an almost total embargo on North Korea-related trade, investments, and financial transactions. Drawing evidence from UN and nongovernmental organizations on the ground as well as other relevant datasets, the report found that sanctions are having humanitarian, developmental and gendered impacts and that existing sanctions exemption mechanisms are insufficient to prevent adverse consequences. It raised concerns that the sanctions in their current form may overstep what is permissible under international humanitarian and human rights law, highlighting the rights to life, food, health, an adequate standard of living, and development, as well as women’s rights.

While the Security Council has repeatedly stated that its sanctions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences, in their current form, sanctions are interfering with the ability of both international aid organizations and of the North Korean government to address the urgent and long-standing humanitarian needs of the population. According to the UN Panel of Experts, a wide range of humanitarian-sensitive items are banned from entering the country, including agricultural material and medical equipment, and generally any items containing metal, such as scalpels or nails.

Sanctions are also impeding the economic development of the DPRK, reversing the country’s growing trade and engagement with the world. This undermines progress that North Korea made in overcoming the economic crisis and famine of the 1990s, particularly market activity led by grassroots women, a key engine of social change. Sanctions undermine women’s economic security and their livelihoods, perhaps most clearly with UNSC resolution 2375’s ban on textile exports, an industry in which 82 percent of workers are female. Increasing gender inequality is counterproductive to the stated aims of those advocating sanctions. Furthering a gender divide and marginalising women from any form of economic power and, hence, influence (even if limited) serves only to institutionalise the disparities that empirical research in various conflicts has shown is inimical to peace building.

As the crushing North Korean winter sets in and as expatriate North Korean workers are forced to give up their jobs by the end of the year and return to the DPRK, we urge you to urgently address the unfolding human tragedy by (1) opening the space for dialogue on the adverse consequences of sanctions and the question of their conformity to international human rights and humanitarian law, (2) establishing a process to assess the human impact of sanctions and take expedient action to mitigate and ultimately eliminate undue harm; and (3) calling on the relevant parties to the unresolved Korean War to formally end it by replacing the 1953 Armistice with a peace agreement.

We look forward to your response and constructive engagement.

Sincerely,

Korean Women’s Movement for Peace
Nobel Women’s Initiative
Women Cross DMZ
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

First Comprehensive Assessment of the Impact of Sanctions Against North Korea Shows Adverse Consequences for Civilians, Especially Women

NEW YORK—As talks between the United States and North Korea remain at an impasse, a new report shows that sanctions imposed on North Korea are having adverse consequences on humanitarian aid and economic development in the country, with a disproportionate impact on women.

The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea (PDF), which was produced by an international and multidisciplinary panel of independent experts, is the first comprehensive assessment of the human impact of sanctions against North Korea. Drawing on often neglected information from UN agencies on the ground as well as the authors’ combined expertise in public health, law, economics, history, and gender studies, the report also shows that existing UN mechanisms to exempt humanitarian-related items are insufficient to prevent these negative impacts, and, in fact, delays and funding shortfalls may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

“As one of the few American physicians who has worked to deliver humanitarian aid and improve health care in North Korea, I have seen how sanctions have restricted the access to the most basic medicines and medical equipment in the isolated country,” said Kee Park, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, the director of the DPRK Program at the Korean American Medical Association, and one of seven authors of the report. “This has made treating infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and injuries much more difficult.”

“Sanctions delayed the delivery of life-saving treatment for children with disabilities due to the ban on importing metal in medical and rehabilitation equipment,” added Joy Yoon, a co-author of the report and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Ignis Community, which treats children with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism at its Pyongyang Spine Rehabilitation Center. “Without immediate and timely medical intervention, many North Korean children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities do not survive.”

Henri Feron, a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, said, “The findings in this report raise concerns that sanctions in their current form may be contrary to international law, in particular humanitarian and human rights norms. Sanctions also raise moral questions, as they effectively take the entire country’s population hostage.”

The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea was commissioned by Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, a global campaign to educate, organize, and advocate for a Korea peace agreement, led by Women Cross DMZ, Nobel Women’s Initiative, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and Korean Women’s Movement for Peace.

To schedule an in-person interview with report authors, or to get more information, contact Kathleen Richards.

WHAT: Press conference featuring several authors of The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, 10:30 a.m.-noon

WHERE: UN Church Center, 2nd Floor, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York

Prominent Feminist Gloria Steinem and Women Leaders to Call for an End to the Korean War at the DMZ and Near U.S. Embassy in Seoul

For immediate release
September 16, 2019

Seoul, South Korea — Feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem and a delegation of women leaders from the United States, South Korea, and Japan will deliver a message of peace across from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Their demands are that the U.S. must get out of the way of inter-Korean economic cooperation, move forward on ending the war, and work toward a peace agreement. And for the Korea peace process to be successful, women must be involved.

“As one of the thirty women from around the world who defied naysayers by crossing the DMZ in 2015, I witnessed the impact of this unresolved war on Korean lives,” said Gloria Steinem. “We need a peace process to end this longest war, and we know from every example that peace is more likely and lasting if women are at the table.”

“As talks appear to advance between the United States and North Korea, it’s crucial that women play a central role in the peace process,” said Christine Ahn, Executive Director of U.S.-based Women Cross DMZ. “Women are disproportionately impacted by this ongoing conflict — from sanctions that harm North Korean women’s health and livelihoods to sexual violence against South Korean women around U.S. military bases. Women must have a say in how to end it.” In 2015, Women Cross DMZ organized a crossing of the DMZ with 30 women peacemakers, including Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates. 

“It is well substantiated that women’s participation leads to more durable peace agreements,” said Mimi Han, an Executive Board Member of The National YWCA of Korea. “The United States and South Korea have national laws committing to women’s inclusion in conflict management and resolution. Now is the time for implementation and action.”

“What’s at stake is the security of those living on the Korean Peninsula and all of Northeast Asia,” said Kozue Akibayashi, the former international President of WILPF and a researcher and activist who specializes in a feminist analysis of peace and security. “The current tensions between Japan and South Korea are rooted in Japanese colonial rule, so a peace agreement will go a long way toward healing decades of pain and mistrust.”

The delegation of women leaders will be in South Korea for “Let’s DMZ,” a peace forum in Gyeonggi, South Korea to commemorate the first anniversary of the Pyongyang Joint Statement between North Korea and South Korea. Steinem will deliver one of three keynote speeches.

In a session titled “Women Crossing Borders: From the DMZ to the women’s peace movement,” Steinem and leaders from Korea Peace Now! — a global campaign of women mobilizing end the Korean War — will discuss the gender implications of the unresolved war and how women’s inclusion is vital for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

This delegation of women is part of Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, a global campaign to educate, organize, and advocate for a Korea peace agreement by 2020. Women Cross DMZNobel Women’s InitiativeWomen’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF), and Korean Women’s Movement for Peacelaunched the campaign in March 2019.

Schedule of events:

To schedule an in-person interview and/or obtain photos, please contact Kathleen Richards.

WHAT: Press conference featuring women leaders calling for an end to the Korean War and the creation of a peace process that includes women

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Gwanghwamun Plaza, 172 Sejong-daero, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

SPEAKERS:

  • Christine Ahn (Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ)
  • Kozue Akibayashi (Doshisha University/Former President of WILPF)
  • Mimi Han (Executive Board Member, The National YWCA of Korea; Vice President, World YWCA)
  • Gloria Steinem (Feminist scholar activist)
  • Moderated by Mi-kyung Han (Standing Representative, Korea Women’s Alliance)

WHAT: Gloria Steinem Keynote Speech at Let’s DMZ

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, from 11 a.m.-noon

WHERE: KINTEX Exhibition Center, 217-60, Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

WHAT: “Women Crossing Borders: From the DMZ to the women’s peace movement”

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, from 3:10-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: KINTEX Exhibition Center, 217-60, Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

SPEAKERS: 

  • Christine Ahn (Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ)
  • Kozue Akibayashi (Doshisha University/Former President of WILPF)
  • Jung-soo Kim (Standing Representative, Women Making Peace)
  • Hyun Lee (US National Organizer, Women Cross DMZ)
  • Jung-ah Lee (Standing Representative, Gyeonggi Women’s Association)
  • Gloria Steinem (Feminist scholar activist)
  • Moderated by Young-mi Cho (Executive Director of Korean Women’s Movement for Peace, Chung-Ang University)

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On the 66th Anniversary of the Armistice Signing, More Than 80 Organizations Call for an End to the Korean War

July 27, 2019 

Dear President Trump: 

We are writing to you on behalf of organizations around the world, many that have long worked for peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

On the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that temporarily halted the Korean War, we urge you to finally negotiate a peaceful settlement to the longest standing U.S. conflict. 

This unresolved war has resulted in the extreme militarization of the Korean Peninsula and taken a significant toll on the lives of millions of people, keeping families torn apart and survivors of the war unable to reconcile the painful past. 

Now that high level trust has been established between you and Chairman Kim, it’s time to declare an end to the Korean War and replace the Armistice with a peace agreement. We urge you to take this crucial step in order to move towards achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. 

Furthermore, at the first summit between the two Koreas, President Moon and Chairman Kim committed to negotiating a peace agreement, ​declaring​, “​there will be no more war and a new era of peace has begun on the Korean peninsula​.” In the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, they committed to “actively promote the holding of trilateral meetings involving the two sides and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two sides, the United States and China with a view to replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.” 

The United States must respect the wishes of the Korean people and their governments by negotiating a peace agreement, which would take the threat of war off the table and improve the security of Koreans, Americans and the global community. 

To ensure the success of the peace process, we urge you to establish a process that includes women’s equal participation. Research shows that when women participate in peace processes, the resulting agreements are more successful and durable. Women’s meaningful involvement in peace processes is a commitment of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000 and the U.S.’s Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017. 

It’s time to move forward and finally bring closure to seven decades of war. A brighter future for Koreans, Americans and the world depends on it. 

Respectfully yours, 

Abigail E. Ruane, WILPF, International 

Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ, International

Liz Bernstein, Nobel Women’s Initiative, International

Youngmi Cho, Korean Women’s Movement for Peace, Republic of Korea 

Ahile Barnabas, Charles & Doosurgh Abaagu Foundation, Nigeria 

Alexandria Kazmerik, Canadian Council of Young Feminists, Canada

Altantsetseg Noosgoi, School of International Relations & Public Administration, Mongolia

Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Colombia 

Amal El Bekri, RAPAD Maroc, Morocco

Ann Wright, Retired US Army Colonel and Diplomat, Veterans for Peace, United States

Benson Attah, Community Emergency Response Initiative, Nigeria 

Beth Woroniuk, The MATCH International Women’s Fund, Canada

Carolyn Scarr, Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC, United States

Cecili Thompson Williams, Beyond the Bomb, United States 

Choon Shik Lim, Korea Mission of PC, United States

Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice, United States

Crispin Bilo, Aube Nouvelle Pour la Femme et le Développement (ANFD), Democratic Republic of Congo

Darynell Rodríguez Torres, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), The Netherlands 

David Hartsough, Peaceworkers, United States

Debbie Stothard, ALTSEAN-Burma, Burma 

Dragana Sarengaca, Nansen Dialogue Centre Serbia, Serbia

Edwina Hughes, Peace Movement Aotearoa, New Zealand

Emily Rubino, Peace Action New York State, United States 

Enzo Cursio, UN-FAO Nobel Alliance for Food Security and Peace, International

Gertrude Kenyangi, Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Uganda

Gordana Subotic, Association Dea Dia, Serbia

Grace Lee, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Canada

Hisae Ogawa, CODEPINK, Ogawa, Japan 

Iain Overton, Action on Armed Violence, United Kingdom

Igballe Rogova, Kosovo Women’s Network, Kosovo

Jaehak Lee, WDF, Republic of Korea

Jang Sun Hwa, Korean Women’s Alliance, Republic of Korea    

Janis Alton, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Canada

Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Blue Banner, Mongolia 

김정호, 민화협, Republic of Korea

Jennifer Deibert, Mennonite Central Committee, United States

Jeongsoo Kim, Women Making Peace, Republic of Korea

Jodie Evans, CODEPINK, United States

Joni van de Sand, MenEngage Global Alliance, United States

Jung-A Lee, Kyunggi Women’s Associations United, Republic of Korea 

Justine Kwachu Ngum Kumche, Women in Alternative Action (WAA), Cameroon

Kelly Campbell, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, United States 

Liza Maza, Gabriela Women’s Alliance, Philippines 

Lukudu William, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan

Mabel Bianco, Fundacion para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer, Argentina 

Maja Vitas Majstorovic, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), The Netherlands

Mary E. Hunt, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), United States

Mary-Ellen Francoeur, Pax Christi Toronto, Canada 

Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, Physicians for Global Survival, Canada 

Mavic Cabrera Balleza, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, United States

MayaKatsitadze, International Center on Conflict and Negotiation (ICCN), Georgia 

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, United States

Meehyang Yoon, The Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, Republic of Korea

Megumi Komori, The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, Japan

Melissa Weale, Voices of Women for Peace, Canada 

Meri Joyce, Peace Boat, Japan

Mi Kyung Han, Korean Women’s Alliance, Republic of Korea

Michele Di Paolantonio, AIMPGN Italian Medical Association for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Italy

Myung Ji Cho, KANCC, United States

Neema Namadamu, SAFECO – Synergy of Congolese Women’s Associations, Democratic Republic of Congo

Nighat Said Khan, ASR Resource Centre and the Institute of Women’s Studies Lahore, Pakistan 

Noor Ul Ain, Pakistan Red Cross, Pakistan

Patricia Talbot, The United Church of Canada, Canada 

Patrick Hiller, War Prevention Initiative, United States

Pamhidzai Thaka, ECLF, Zimbabwe

Park Jung Eun, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, Republic of Korea

Paula Banerjee, The Sanskrit College and University, India 

Pat Cunningham, Missionary Society of Saint Columban, Republic of Korea

Petra Tötterman Andorff, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Sweden

Priscilla M Achakpa, Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria  

Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office, United States 

Rasha Jarhum, Peace Track Initiative, Canada

Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy/ICAN, United Kingdom

Rola Hallam, CanDo, United Kingdom 

Rose Othieno, Center for Conflict Resolution/GPPAC ECA, Uganda

Ruby Khalifah, The Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), Indonesia

Sarah Jewell, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa-USA, United States

Sharada Adhikari, Women Empowerment Against Poverty of Nepal, Nepal

Shawn Kim, One Heart for Justice, United States 

Shireen Huq, Naripokkho, Bangladesh

Shirine Jurdi, MENAPPAC/GPPAC, Lebanon

Susannah Choi, National YWCA of Korea, Republic of Korea

Sybille Fezer, Medica Mondiale, Germany                                  

Uma Mishra-Newbery, Women’s March Global, Switzerland 

Vana Kim Hansen, LA Korean Peninsula Neutralization, United States

Visaka Dharmadasa, Association of War Affected Women, Sri Lanka 

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, Nonviolence International Canada, Canada

Youngdong Lee, KCRC, Republic of Korea

Statement Regarding Historic Vote in Congress Supporting an End to the Korean War

The four core partners of the global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War applaud the recent historic vote in U.S. Congress calling for an end to the Korean War. As part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment by Rep. Ro Khanna declaring that diplomacy is essential with North Korea and calling for an end to the Korean War. 

“This vote is a game changer,” said Christine Ahn, executive director of Women Cross DMZ. “It’s a clear sign that the American people want an end to the oldest U.S. conflict, and that ending decades of hostilities with a peace agreement is the only way to resolve the nuclear crisis.”

“While this vote was largely symbolic, it reflects the growing momentum and political space for peace,” said Liz Bernstein, executive director of Nobel Women’s Initiative. “Now we must build on this momentum by including women in the peace process.”

“On behalf of the citizens of South Korea, I want to thank U.S. lawmakers for taking their courageous stand for the peace and security of millions of people on the Korean Peninsula,” said Youngmi Cho, executive director of the Korean Women’s Movement for Peace. “Ending the war will help North and South Korea improve relations and allow more inter-economic cooperation.”

“Now President Trump should follow through and take steps to build trust,” said YouKyoung Ko, a consultant for Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. “It’s time to formally declare an end to the Korean War and work toward a peace agreement.”

Read the Korean version of this statement here.

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Global Coalition of Women’s Organizations Calls on Presidents Trump and Moon to End the Korean War

As U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet this weekend in South Korea, we urge the two leaders to work together with North Korean leader Chairman Kim Jong Un to conclude a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War.  

We recommend that President Trump visit Panmunjom, which has been disarmed in accordance with the inter-Korean joint summit declaration and the inter-Korean military agreement of 2018. This is an appropriate setting in which to declare an end to the Korean War and the beginning of a new era of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Given the failure of the second U.S.-North Korean summit in Hanoi and the military escalations that followed, it is urgent that the leaders of the three countries not miss the historic window of opportunity to finally end hostilities on the Korean Peninsula — the root cause of the nuclear crisis.

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign of more sanctions has failed to force North Korea’s denuclearization; instead, it has had the effect of escalating military tensions and worsening the humanitarian situation in North Korea. The dire impact of sanctions led Tomás Ojea Quintana,the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, to warn that “sanctions are affecting ordinary citizens” and that “the sanctions regime that targets the economy as a whole has a lot of problems under the international law.”

What is needed is a mutual trust-building process through dialogue and cooperation, not just between governments, but also via people-to-people engagement in order to help foster understanding among Americans, North Koreans and South Koreans. Nearly 70 years of tensions and hostilities can only be resolved by building trust step-by-step, rather than insisting on an all-or-nothing deal at the front end of this peace process. We also call on the Trump administration to lift the U.S. travel ban on Americans traveling to North Korea, which has impeded humanitarian aid, family reunions and citizen diplomacy.    

Furthermore, as we have learned from other conflicts around the world, for the Korea peace process to be successful, women must have a seat at the table. Research has shown that when women are involved in peace processes, the resulting agreements are more successful and durable. Including women’s equal participation and meaningful involvement in peace processes is a commitment under UN Security Council Resolution 1325, National Action Plans in over 80 countries, and the U.S. Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017

The women leaders are part of Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, a global campaign to educate, organize, and advocate for a Korea peace agreement by 2020. Women Cross DMZNobel Women’s InitiativeWomen’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Korean Women’s Movement for Peace launched the campaign in March 2019.

South Korean Women’s Peace Organizations Launch the Korean Women’s Movement for Peace

For immediate release:

A coalition of South Korean women’s peace organizations will hold a press conference and symposium in Seoul on May 24 to officially launch the Korean Women’s Movement for Peace. The launch also marks International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. 

The women activists will discuss the role of women working for peace on the Korean Peninsula and the future direction of the women’s peace movement. Korean women’s voices are vital to the conversation on peace, and they must have a seat at the table. 

Korean Women’s Movement for Peace consists of Korean Women’s Association United, Women Making Peace, National YWCA of Korea, and Korea Women’s Alliance, and is a founding partner of Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War, a global campaign to educate, advocate, and organize for a Korea peace agreement by 2020, and to push for women’s inclusion in the peace process.

What: Korea Peace Now! Campaign Launch, Press Conference, and Symposium

Where: Franciscan Education Center, Room 211, 9 Jungdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

When: Friday, May 24, 2019

1-1:30 p.m. – Press Conference

1:30-3 p.m. – Symposium

Press Conference Moderator: Youngmi Cho, executive director, Korean Women’s Movement for Peace

Press Conference Speakers: Mimi Han, vice president, World YWCA; Misun Baek, standing representative, Korean Women’s Association United; Mi-ran Chang, chairperson, Committee for Peace and Reunification; Mi-kyung Han, standing representative, Korea Women’s Alliance

Symposium Moderator: Misun Baek, standing representative, Korean Women’s Association United

Symposium Speakers: Young-soo Han, president, National YWCA of Korea; Seung-eun Kim, chairperson, Women Making Peace; Jeongsoo Kim, standing representative, Women Making Peace; Young-sook Cho, director, Korean Women’s Association United International Solidarity Center; Hyun Lee, US national organizer, Women Cross DMZ; Youkyoung Ko, WILPF consultant; Youngmi Cho, executive director, KWMP; Susannah Choi, director, National YWCA of Korea

For more information on Korean Women’s Movement for Peace, please contact: Youngmi Cho, youngmicho@protonmail.com