People Around the World Called for Peace on the 66th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

July 27, 2019 marked the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that halted the Korean War — a reminder that this conflict never ended and that we need to replace the Armistice with a peace agreement. 

More than 80 organizations signed our letter to U.S. President Donald Trump urging him to end the longest standing U.S. conflict and to include women in the peace process. You can read it here.

Meanwhile, Korea Peace Now! regional groups, activists, and other peace-loving folks across the U.S. and around the world held events calling for an end to the Korean War and peace on the Korean Peninsula. They rallied, danced, sang, held film screenings, gave talks, and gathered signatures in support of H.Res. 152, which calls for a formal end to the Korean War.

Here’s a recap of some of the events that happened on and around July 27:

In New York, on July 25, more than 60 people attended a film screening of the documentary Memory of Forgotten War and a panel discussion on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. Speakers included Women Cross DMZ/Korea Peace Now!’s Hyun Lee and Yuni Chang from War Resisters League, who shared their experiences working on anti-war and anti-colonial struggles and peace at home and abroad.

Attendees at a film screening and panel discussion in New York on July 25, 2019.

Two days later, volunteers from June 15 Committee for Peace and Unification New York and Veterans for Peace gathered dozens of signatures for postcards to send to their local Representatives urging them to support H.Res. 152. And on Sunday, about 50 activists gathered at a private home in Great Neck, NY, for presentations, conversations, and delicious Korean food. Speakers included Iksoo Han of Minjung Solidarity of New York and Hyun Lee of Women Cross DMZ, moderated by Alex Choi of Heemang Saesang (Hope Alliance).  

Activists gathered in Great Neck, NY, for a barbecue and discussion.

Over on the West Coast, about 40 people gathered for a July 27 rally organized by the LA Progressive Koreans’ Network in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, chanting “End Korean War now,” “Peace in Korea now,” and “No war, yes peace” and singing Korean peace songs. 

Korean American activists gathered for a rally in Los Angeles’ Koreatown on July 27, 2019.

At a forum later that day, Christine Ahn, executive director of Women Cross DMZ and international coordinator of Korea Peace Now!, and humanitarian worker Joy Yoon, who is one of the few Americans to have lived and worked extensively in North Korea, spoke to a group of about 80 people in Culver City about the efforts of women to build peace with North Korea. Yoon spoke about her experiences to help disabled children in North Korea, and how that has been made more difficult with economic and financial sanctions imposed on North Korea. Ahn talked about the 2015 DMZ crossing she helped organize with other women peacebuilders and efforts to mobilize support for H.Res. 152.

Joy Yoon and Christine Ahn (front row, holding scarf) spoke to dozens of people about women’s efforts to build peace in North Korea at an event in Culver City, Calif.

In Washington DC, organizers from NAKA (National Association of Korean Americans), Korean Citizens Academy, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Beyond the Bomb, among others held a Korea peace rally in front of the White House on July 27.

Activists rallied for peace in front of the White House on July 27, 2019.

In Boston, the Massachusetts Korea Peace Campaign and Massachusetts Peace Action handed out literature and collected signatures on Korea, Iran, Palestine, Middle East wars, and nuclear weapons at the Lowell Folk Festival.

Members of Korea Peace Now! in Philadelphia canvassed at a local Asian grocery store where they talked to diverse community members and helped educate people about the unresolved Korean War. About 33 people signed postcards asking their local Representatives to co-sponsor H.Res. 152. 

Philadelphia resident Clemencia Rodriguez supports an end to the Korean War.

Down south in Atlanta, about 70 people — including one state Senator and three state Representatives — attended the July 27 event “From Armistice to Peace: Ending the 70-Year-Old Korean War” at the Korean American Association of Atlanta. The event — which was organized by the Georgia Korea Peace Campaign — featured Rep. Sam Park of the Georgia State Assembly, Dr. Yusun Chang of the Georgia Korea Peace Campaign, Lindsay Harper of Georgia WAND, James Woo of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Hyun Lee of Women Cross DMZ. 

One state Senator and three state Representatives were among the attendees at “From Armistice to Peace: Ending the 70-Year-Old Korean War” in Atlanta, Ga.

Over in Pusan, South Korea, the Korea Women’s Alliance held a rally and released a statement on the anniversary of the Armistice. Their list of demands included: 1) that the R.O.K., D.P.R.K., and U.S. declare an end to the war and sign a peace agreement 2) that the U.S. withdraw sanctions against D.P.R.K. that block inter-Korean women exchanges and 3) that the U.S. stop biochemical weapons tests.

Figure 8: The Korea Women’s Alliance held a women’s rally on the anniversary of the Armistice signing, calling for an end to the war.

There was even a rally in Berlin, Germany!

And that’s not all. Online, an #EndKoreanWar Twitter hangout had more than 1 million impressions and reached almost 700,000 users!

Clearly, there’s support around the world for ending the Korean War and working toward a peace agreement. You can get involved, too. If you live in the United States, you can help support peace by sending a message to your local Congressperson here. Folks all around the U.S. (a few in Canada, too!) joined our social media campaign to #EndKoreanWar on Saturday. Hold up a sign with your name, location, and tag us with the hashtag #KoreaPeaceNow.