Welcome to the very first Korea Peace Now! newsletter. We’ll be using this newsletter to periodically update you on our campaign activities as well as tell you how you get involved in our peace efforts.
In case you missed it, our international delegation of women peacebuilders traveled to Washington, DC, New York, and Ottawa last month to officially launch our women-led global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War.
Members of the Korea Peace Now! delegation hosted a public briefing, "Women Leading the Way for Peace in Korea,” on March 12, 2019, in Washington, DC.
In Washington, DC, our delegation of women — which included three Parliamentarians from South Korea — met with members of Congress to discuss how to advance a new U.S. policy on North Korea that improves security for everyone. This included a breakfast roundtable with Reps. Barbara Lee and Jan Schakowsky, both co-sponsors of HR 152, which calls for an end to the Korean War, and the discussion of a possible joint commission of U.S. and R.O.K. lawmakers and civil society. Our delegation also met with Sen. Bernie Sanders and urged him to introduce a Senate companion bill to HR 152.
Members of the Korea Peace Now! delegation met with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Washington, DC, on March 12, 2019.
Also in DC, two of the Parliamentarians, Kwon Mi Hyuk and Lee Jae Jung, both members of the South Korean National Assembly, spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations on the importance of pushing the Korea peace process forward. It was an opportunity to spread our message of peace to a new audience: Among the attendees were employees of the Department of Homeland Security, the RAND Corporation, and the Federation of American Scientists.
In New York, our delegation held a side event during the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN that attracted more than 200 participants. The next day we held a press conference at the UN Correspondents Association that was livestreamed to thousands of people. (You can watch it here.) Our delegation then gathered in front of the U.S. Mission to the UN, where Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for North Korea, was holding a meeting. Scrambling amid the many news cameras, we delivered our message to him: We want peace and we want women to be included in the process.
Our delegation of South Korean leaders then made their way to Ottawa to call on the Canadian government to take a leadership role in setting the table for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Mimi Han, the vice president of World YWCA and an executive board member of the National YWCA of Korea, speaks about the impact of war on Koreans at the Korea Peace Now! parliamentary breakfast in Ottawa on March 18, 2019.
The day began with a breakfast briefing co-hosted by Sen. Marilou McPhederan, Sen. Yonah Martin, and the Women, Peace and Security Network of Canada. “This is a longstanding 70-year conflict,” said Sen. McPhederan. “In the past year and a half, we have seen momentum build toward peace. It is key for Canada to take a leadership role.”
Our delegation also held meetings with government officials and hosted a press conference with Canadian MPs, senators, and civil society partners. We called on the Canadian government to restore diplomatic relations with North Korea and ease restrictions on humanitarian aid, as well as to ensure that women are part of the peace process.
“Last year was the worst Korean harvest in 10 years,” Patti Talbot of United Church Canada said at the Korea Peace Now! press conference in Ottawa on March 18, 2019. “Women, children, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. No one should be left behind, Canada can and must do more by easing sanctions.”