Washington, DC (June 3, 2023) – Korea Peace Advocacy Week will bring together more than 170 peace advocates across the country — who will meet with their members of Congress during the week of June 5-9, 2023 to advocate for an official end to the Korean War.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted but did not officially end the Korean War, making it an especially important time to remind members of Congress about the human costs of this unresolved war and the urgent need to avoid a nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula. According to a recent American Friends Service Committee-Harris poll, more than 50% of Americans support ending the war with a formal peace agreement.
Korea Peace Advocacy Week brings together hundreds of people around the U.S. each year to participate in meetings with their members of Congress to advocate for legislation supporting peace in Korea, the reunion of separated families, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to North Korea. Past Korea Peace Advocacy Weeks have secured support for bills including the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act, the Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance Act, and the Korean War Divided Families Reunification Act.
“Korea Peace Advocacy Week is a showcase of democracy in action, with hundreds of Korean Americans, peace activists, and humanitarians advocating to Congress to support a bold new approach to engaging North Korea in pursuit of peace,” said Colleen Moore, Advocacy Director for Women Cross DMZ and co-coordinator of Korea Peace Advocacy Week. “As military tensions escalate on the Korean Peninsula, it’s time for the US government to prioritize diplomacy and support a peace-first approach.”
This year will be the eighth year of coordinated advocacy days for the cause of peace in Korea, and the fourth year of advocacy days being held online due to the pandemic. When the initiative first started in 2015, only 12 people participated; the effort has now grown to include nearly 200 people.
Most Americans don’t realize the Korean War never ended. The unresolved state of war is the root cause of tensions and militarism in Korea and has kept Korean families separated for decades. Pressure-based tactics have failed to achieve US goals such as denuclearization and improved human rights and, in fact, have only exacerbated the problem. A peace agreement that officially ends the Korean War is the most realistic and effective method for resolving the security crisis on the Korean Peninsula. In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, retired three-star general and former deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command Dan Leaf called the ongoing Korean War “one of the great absurdities in global geopolitics.”
“Decades of military posturing and broken promises have failed to support denuclearization and human rights on the Korean Peninsula. It is clear that the United States needs a new strategy: a transformative peace-first approach that honors the dignity of every person,” said Alison Kahn, Policy Fellow at the American Friends Service Committee and co-coordinator of Korea Peace Advocacy Week. “Approaching the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, it is an especially timely moment for concerned citizens to voice their support for a formal peace agreement and humanitarian aid reform.”
Korea Peace Advocacy Week will consist of virtual lobby visits with 139 Congressional offices in 28 states to advocate for H.R.1369, the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act, which calls for serious, urgent diplomacy in pursuit of a binding peace agreement to formally end the Korean War, and the Enhancing North Korean Humanitarian Assistance Act, which aims to ease the impact of sanctions on much-needed humanitarian aid to North Korea.
This year’s Korea Peace Advocacy Week is being organized by Women Cross DMZ, American Friends Service Committee, and Mennonite Central Committee.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace.
Women Cross DMZ is the leading feminist voice in the movement to bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula.