Women's Walk for Peace Across Demilitarized Zone Advocates Peace Treaty Between North and South Korea

Posted June 3, 2015

MP3 Interview with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink Women for Peace, conducted by Scott Harris

korea

A group of 30 international women activists crossed the Demilitarized Zone from North Korea to South Korea on May 24 in a symbolic effort to diminish the enmity between these two nations that have been divided for 70 years. Although the Korean War ended in 1953 with the signing of an armistice agreement, no final peace settlement has been negotiated between the North and South, which remain officially at war.

The peace walk project, called WomenCrossDMZ, includes longtime American feminist Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. The group, which called for an “end to the Korean War and for a new beginning for a reunified Korea,” held international peace symposiums in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and South Korea’s capital Seoul. The decades-long separation of many Korean families is but one of the painful unresolved issues of the divided nation.

As the delegation of peace walkers entered South Korea, they were greeted both by supporters and opponents, some of whom protested what they viewed as the activists’ exploitation by North Korea’s authoritarian regime that has often been cited for gross human rights violations. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink Women for Peace who participated in the Peace Walk. Here, she discusses the goals of the Women’s Walk for Peace and the stories she heard on both sides of the border about the ongoing pain of the Korean war that cost the lives of 4 million people.

For more information on WomenCrossDMZ, visit womencrossdmz.org.

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