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Gyunglan Jung – WNN SOAPBOX

In February 2008 North Korean soldiers from the Korean People's Army look south while on duty in the Joint Security Area. Today stability in the region continues to be on the minds of those who are working for peace, especially the women of South Korea who have released a joint statement asking for nuclear arms development in the region to stop. Image: Edward N. Johnson/USgov/Army/Public Affairs Office

In February 2008 North Korean soldiers from the Korean People’s Army look south while on duty in the Joint Security Area. Today stability in the region continues to be on the minds of those who are working for peace, especially the women of South Korea who have released a joint statement asking for nuclear arms development in the region to stop. Image: Edward N. Johnson/USgov/Army/Public Affairs Office

In a combined statement to uphold peace in the region, 66 women’s organizations in South Korea sound off about heightened threats of nuclear strikes and war

(WNN) Seoul, SOUTH KOREA, ASIA: We women are deeply concerned about the crisis of war. Since North Korea’s rocket launch last December, a vicious circle of sanctions and armed protests has continued unabated. Particularly, South Korea and the US governments recently conducted the Key Resolve military exercise, which included a nuclear-powered carrier, and North Korea responded by claiming that it would rescind the armistice agreement and cancel the non-aggression pact between North and South Korea, and threatened a nuclear strike.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice treaty. A war poses a disaster to women, children and other living things. We already experienced a horrendous war among the same race. We remember the tears and deep sorrow from death, separation, hunger and sexual violence upon women. Therefore, North and South Korea’s desperate effort is needed to embrace the scars of war, reconcile and live together.

However, we hardly hear any voices calling for peace from the North and South Korean governments. The current situation is the product of the hostile relationship of the US-North Korea, and the two Koreas as the Korean War never actually ended over the last 60 years and the armistice continued to exist. Their mutual hostility, hatred, and deeply-rooted fear have long lasted. As long as the armistice regime continues, military threat and confrontations, and fear will pervade. The fundamental solution to end such a vicious circle of violence and counter-violence should be pursued.

We women urge the North and South Korean governments and the US government to make a bold political decision to prevent war and settle peace. We hope that conflicts on the Korean Peninsula will be resolved through dialogue, compromise and cooperation. We urge all concerned parties not to threat the other side through military superiority, nuclear deterrence, and military exercises and try to gain benefits, but to pursue peace by peaceful means by searching for mutual benefits through political negotiations, dialogue and reconciliations.

We women as agent of peacemaking hope that this 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice will be the first year of the singing of a peace treaty. We are also determined to promote inter-Korean exchanges and to work together with other women at home and abroad to make the Korean Peninsula peaceful so that our children will freely travel over the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to Europe.

Therefore, we call upon the concerned parties as follows to prevent a war and make peace.:

First, the North and South Korean governments should stop any action and military exercises which only increase war risks. Second, the two Korean governments should obey inter-Korean agreements and start a dialogue for reconciliation, cooperation and peaceful settlement. Third, the states of the six-party talks should resume the talks for the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. Fourth, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America, and China should start dialogues and negotiations for a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Women’s urgent Action for the prevention of a war and making peace on the Korean Peninsula (Totalling 66 women’s organizations) —

Kyonggi Indenpendence Women’s Solidarity, Kyeongnam Women’s
Association United, Kyeongnam Women’s Solidarity, Goyang Women’s
Association, GwangJu Woman Center, GwangJu(Kyunggi) Women’s
Association, GwangJu Women’s Association, Guro Women’s Association,
Guri Women’s Association, Alliance for the Human Rights of Gijichon
(U.S. military bases in South Korea) Women, Namhae Women’s Association,
Daegu-Kyungbuk Women’s Association United, Daegu Womensquare, Daegu
Women’s Association, Daejeon Women’s Association United, Daejeon
Women’s Association for Peace, Busan Women’s Association United, Busan
Women’s Association, Bucheon Women’s Association for New Age, Bucheon
Women’s Association, Bundang Women’s Association, Sacheon Women’s
Association, Korean Catholic Women’s Community for a New World, Seoul
Women’s Association, Seongnam Women’s Association, National Solidarity
Against Sexual Exploitation of Women, Suwon Women’s Association, Ansan
Women’s Association, Anseong Women’s Association, Ynyang Sharing
Women’s Association, Yangsan Women’s Association, Yangju Women’s
Association, Women’s Human Rights Defenders, Korea Women’s Political
Solidarity, Osan Women’s Association, Yongin Women’s Association, Uri
Women’s Association, Ulsan Women’s Association, Eujungbu Dure Women’s
Association, Icheon Women’s Association, Incheon Women’s Association,
Korean Women Peasant Association, Korean Women’s Alliance, Jeju
Women’s Human Rights Solidarity, National Campaign for Eradication of
Crimes by U.S.Troops in Korea, Chongju Women’s Association for
Protecting the Planet, Jinju Women’s Association, Jinhae Women’s
Association, Changwon Women’s Association, Cheonan Women’s
Association, Chuncheon Women’s Association, Unification Women’s
Association, Commission on Women’s Affairs of The United Progressive
Party, Paju Women’s Association, Pyeongtaek Women’s Association, Women
Making Peace, Pohang Women’s Association , Hanam Women’s Association,
Korea Church Women United, Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, Korean
Women’s Association United, Korean Womenlink , Korea Women’s Hot Line,
YWCA of Korea, Haman Women’s Association, Hwaseong Women’s Association

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Ms. Gyunglan Jung is the official Co-Representative for Women Making Peace #401 at the Women’s Center for Equality and Peace in Seoul, South Korea. Her words are part of a combined statement made officially by 66 women’s organizations that are currently working for human rights inside South Korea.

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©2013 WNN – Women News Network
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