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Open letter to Trump administration, Women Cross DMZ

April 26, 2017
Touring the DMZ on the border of South and North Korea. Credit: Stuart Wainstock, CC BY-NC 2.0
Touring the DMZ on the border of South and North Korea. Credit: Stuart Wainstock, CC BY-NC 2.0

President Donald Trump
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Secretary of Defense James Mattis
H.R. McMaster, National Security Council

Dear President Trump:

We are women leaders from over 40 countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and many from nations that fought in the Korean War. We are from academia, business, civil society and the military, and represent a diversity of ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and political views. We are united by our belief that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the nuclear crisis and threat of war now facing the Korean peninsula.

On July 27, 1953, leaders from the United States, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and China signed the Armistice Agreement to halt the Korean War. They promised to re-convene within three months to replace the ceasefire with a binding peace agreement. This never occurred and an entrenched state of war has ever since defined inter-Korean and U.S.-D.P.R.K. relations. This war must end.

Korea is the only nation to remain divided as a result of WWII. For three generations, millions of families have been separated by the world’s most militarized border. We urge you to do the following to avert war in Korea and bring about a long-desired peace on the peninsula:

  1. Negotiate a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and long-range ballistic program in exchange for a U.S. security guarantee that would include suspending U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

  2. Initiate a peace process with North Korea, South Korea and China to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement with a binding peace treaty to end the Korean War. Women must be significantly represented in the peace process in accordance with the spirit of UNSCR 1325.

  3. Support citizen diplomacy to heal the legacies of the Korean War by establishing a liaison office in Washington and Pyongyang to facilitate retrieval of U.S. Korean War servicemen’s remains and Korean-American family reunions.

Since 1950, the Korean peninsula has been threatened with nuclear weapons, missile tests, and military exercises that have only served to make 75 million Korean people less secure. In the United States and on both sides of the Korean De-Militarized Zone, the absence of a binding peace accord fuels fear and economic deprivation caused by diverting public resources in preparation for war, including deploying the controversial THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. This endless militarization must stop.

Peace is the most powerful deterrent of all. We urge you to take steps now to help formally end the Korean War with a peace treaty. Doing so would lead to greater peace and security for the Korean peninsula and region and halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We look to you to accomplish what successive U.S. Presidents have failed to do for seven decades: establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

Sincerely Yours,

  1. Abigail Disney, USA, Filmmaker and Philanthropist

  2. Aimee Alison, USA, President Democracy in Color

  3. Aiyoung Choi, USA, Steering Committee Member, Women Cross DMZ

  4. Alana Price, USA, Editor of Truthout

  5. Alice Slater, USA, Coordinating Committee Member, World Beyond War

  6. Alice Walker, USA, Author and Activist

  7. Alicia Garza, USA, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Black Lives Matter

  8. Amina Mama, Nigeria/USA, Professor, University of California, Davis

  9. Amira Ali, Ethiopia, Author and Activist

  10. Ana Oliveira, USA, Philanthropist

  11. Anasuya Sengupta, India, Feminist author and activist, co-founder Whose Voices?

  12. Angela Chung, USA, Attorney and Human Rights Activist

  13. Angela Davis, USA, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

  14. Ani DiFranco, USA, Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Multi-instrumentalist & Businesswoman

  15. Annabel Park, USA, Filmmaker

  16. Ann Frisch, USA, Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, 5960

  17. Anne Delaney, USA, Artist and Philanthropist

  18. Anuradha Mittal, USA, Executive Director, Oakland Institute

  19. Ann Patterson, Northern Ireland, Peace People

  20. Ann Wright, USA, Retired US Army Colonel & Diplomat

  21. Anne Beldo, Norway, Lawyer and Partner of Hegg & Co. Law Firm

  22. Annette Groth, Germany, Member of Bundestag

  23. Annie Isabel Fukushima, USA, Professor, University of Utah

  24. Audrey McLaughlin, Canada, Former President, Socialist International Women

  25. Becky Rafter, USA, Executive Director, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)

  26. Betty Burkes, USA, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

  27. Betty Reardon, USA, Founding Director of the International Institute on Peace Education

  28. Bridget Burns, Co-Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

  29. Brinton Lykes, USA, Professor, Boston College

  30. Caitlin Kee, USA, Attorney, Thomson-Reuters

  31. Carrie Menkel-Meadow, USA, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California Irvine Law School

  32. Catherine Christie, Canada, United Church Canada

  33. Catherine Hoffman, USA, Coordinator, Cambridge Restorative Justice Working Group

  34. Carter McKenzie, USA, Springfield-Eugene Chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice

  35. Charlotte Wiktorsson, Sweden, Swedish Physicians Against War

  36. Christine Ahn, USA, International Coordinator, Women Cross DMZ

  37. Christine Cordero, USA, Center for Story-based Strategy

  38. Chung-Wha Hong, USA, Executive Director, Grassroots International

  39. Cindy Wiesner, USA, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance National Coordinator

  40. Clare Bayard, USA, Catalyst Project

  41. Coleen Baik, USA, Twitter @Design Alumna

  42. Cora Weiss, USA, President, Hague Appeal for Peace

  43. Corazon Valdez Fabros, Philippines, Co-Vice President, International Peace Bureau

  44. Cynda Collins Arsenault, USA, Philanthropist, Secure World Foundation

  45. Cynthia Enloe, USA, Professor, Clark University

  46. Darakshan Raja, USA, Executive Director, Washington Peace Center

  47. Deann Borshay Liem, USA, Filmmaker

  48. Don Mee Choi, USA, Poet & Translator, International Women’s Network Against Militarism

  49. Dorchen A. Leidholdt, USA, Attorney, Professor, Feminist

  50. Dorothy Ogle, USA, National Council of Churches

  51. Dorothy J. Solinger, USA, Professor Emerita, University of California, Irvine

  52. Ekaterina Zagladina, Russia, Permanent Secretariat, Nobel Peace Summit

  53. Elaine H. Kim, USA, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

  54. Eleana J. Kim, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

  55. Eleanor Blomstrom, Co-Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

  56. Ellen Carol DuBois, Professor, History and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

  57. Ellen-Rae Cachola, USA, Women’s Voices Women Speak

  58. Emilia Castro, Canada, Co-Representative of Intl. Committee, Americas Region, World March of Women

  59. Eunice How, USA, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, Seattle chapter

  60. Eve Ensler, USA, Playwright

  61. Ewa Eriksson Fortier, Sweden, Humanitarian Aid Worker

  62. Faye Leone, USA, Writer and Editor, International Institute for Sustainable Development

  63. Fenna ten Berge, Netherlands, Director of Muslims for Progressive Values

  64. Fiona Dove, Netherlands, Executive Director, Transnational Institute

  65. Fragkiska Megaloudi, Greece, Journalist

  66. Frances Kissling, USA, University of Pennsylvania; former President, Catholics for Choice

  67. Francisca de Haan, Netherlands, Professor, Central European University

  68. Gabriela Zapata Alvarez, Mexico, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor

  69. Gay Dillingham, USA, Filmmaker, Former Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson

  70. Gayle Wells, USA, Business owner

  71. Glenda Paige, USA, Secretary, Governing Council, Center for Global Nonkilling

  72. Gloria Steinem, USA, Writer and Activist, Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee

  73. Grace Cho, USA, Professor, College of Staten Island, City University of New York

  74. Gwen Kim, USA, Ohana Koa, Nuclear Free and Independent Hawaii

  75. Gwyn Kirk, USA, Women for Genuine Security

  76. Haeyoung Yoon, USA, human rights lawyer

  77. Hazel Smith, United Kingdom, Professor, University of Central Lancashire

  78. Helen Caldicott, Australia, Founding President of Physicians for Social Responsibility

  79. Helena Wong, USA, U.S. National Organizer, World March of Women

  80. Hope A. Cristobal, Guam, Former Senator

  81. Hye-Jung Park, USA, Filmmaker, Community Media Activist

  82. Hyaeweol Choi, Australia, Professor, Australian National University

  83. Hyunju Bae, Republic of Korea, Central and Executive Committee, World Council of Churches

  84. Ingeborg Breines, Norway, Co-President, International Peace Bureau; former Director UNESCO

  85. Isabella Sargsyan, Armenia, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly

  86. Isabelle Geukens, Netherlands, Executive Director, Women Peacemakers Program

  87. Jaana Rehnstrom, Finland, President, KOTA Alliance

  88. Jackie Cabasso, USA, U.S. Mayors for Peace

  89. Jacquelyn Wells, USA, Women Cross DMZ

  90. Jacqui True, Australia, Professor, Monash University

  91. Jane Chung-Do, Professor, University of Hawaii Manoa

  92. Jane Jin Kaisen, Denmark, Artist and Filmmaker

  93. Janis Alton, Canada, Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

  94. Jasmine Galace, Philippines, The Center for Peace Education, Miriam College

  95. Jean Chung, Republic of Korea/USA, Founder, Action for One Korea

  96. Jennifer Kwon-Dobbs, USA, Professor, St. Olaf College

  97. Ji-yeon Yuh, USA, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University

  98. Joanne Yoon Fukumoto, USA, Trinity United Methodist Church

  99. Jodie Evans, USA, Co-founder, Code Pink

  100. Joy Dunsheath, New Zealand, President, United Nations Association New Zealand

  101. Judith LeBlanc, USA, Director, Native Organizers Alliance

  102. Judy Hatcher, USA, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network North America

  103. Judy Rebick, Canada, Former President, National Action Committee on the Status of Women

  104. Julie Young, USA, Board Chair, Korean American Story

  105. Justine Kwachu Kumche, Cameroon, Executive Director, Women in Alternative Action—WAA

  106. Kate Dewes, New Zealand, Former Member of United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters; Co-Director of the Disarmament and Security Centre

  107. Kate Hudson, United Kingdom, General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

  108. Kathy Crandall Robinson, USA, Women in International Security

  109. Kathy Kelly, USA, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

  110. Kavita Ramdas, USA, Ford Foundation

  111. Khin Ohmar, Burma/Myanmar, Coordinator, Burma Partnership

  112. Kim Ku’ulei Birnie, Hawaii/USA, Women’s Voices, Women Speak

  113. Kim Phuc, Canada/Vietnam, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

  114. Koohan Paik, USA, Journalist and Activist

  115. Kozue Akibayashi, Japan, Intl. President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

  116. Krassimira Daskalova, Bulgaria, Professor, University of Sofia

  117. Krishanti Dharmaraj, USA, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership

  118. Kyeong-Hee Choi, USA, Professor, University of Chicago

  119. Kyung-Hee Ha, Japan, Assistant Professor, Meiji University

  120. Laura Dawn, USA, filmmaker & Founder, ART NOT WAR

  121. Laura Hein, USA, Professor, Northwestern University

  122. Laurie Ross, New Zealand, The Peace Foundation of New Zealand Aotearoa, International Affairs and Disarmament Committee

  123. Lekkie Hopkins, Australia, Professor, Edith Cowan University

  124. Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate

  125. Linda Burnham, USA, National Domestic Workers Alliance

  126. Lindsey German, United Kingdom, National Convener, Stop the War Coalition

  127. Lisa Natividad, Guam, President, Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

  128. Liza Maza, Philippines, former Parliamentarian; Gabriella Network

  129. Lourdes Leon Guerrero, Guam, Fuetsan Famalao’an

  130. Luisa Morgantini, Italy, Member, European Parliament

  131. Lydia Alpizar, Mexico, Executive Director, AWID (Association of Women’s Rights in Development)

  132. Madeline Rees, United Kingdom, Secretary General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

  133. Madelyn Hoffman, USA, Executive Director, New Jersey Peace Action

  134. Maggie Martin, USA, Iraq Veterans Against the War

  135. Mairead Maguire, Northern Ireland, 1976 Nobel Peace Laureate

  136. Maja Vitas Majstorovic, Serbia, Gender Coordinator, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

  137. Marevic Parcon, Philippines, Asia Regional Coordinator, Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights

  138. Margaret Gerhardt, USA, University of Pennsylvania

  139. Margo Okazawa-Rey, USA, Professor Emerita, San Francisco State University

  140. Marilyn Waring, New Zealand, Professor of Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

  141. Marta Benavides, El Salvador, Siglo XXIII

  142. Mary C. Murphree, USA, Sociologist

  143. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Philippines, International Coordinator, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

  144. Maya Schenwar, USA, Truthout Editor

  145. Medea Benjamin, USA, Co-founder, Code Pink

  146. Meenakshi Gopinath, India, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP)

  147. Megan Amundson, USA, Executive Director, Women’s Action for New Direction (WAND)

  148. Megan Burke, USA, Director, International Campaign to Ban Landmines-Cluster Munitions Coalition

  149. Melissa Giovale, USA, Founder and Board Member, Bell Garden Buddhist Center

  150. Meredith Woo, USA, Open Society Foundations

  151. Meri Joyce, Australia, Regional Coordinator, Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict

  152. Mimi Han, Republic of Korea/USA, International Vice President, YWCA

  153. Mimi Kim, USA, Professor, Cal State University, Long Beach

  154. Mina Watanabe, Japan, Secretary General, Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace

  155. Miranda Cahn, New Zealand, Head of Programme Development and Quality, Save the Children New Zealand

  156. Musimbi Kanyoro, Kenya/USA, Executive Director of Global Fund for Women

  157. Nada Drobnjak, Montenegro, Member of Parliament

  158. Namhee Lee, USA, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

  159. Nan Kim, USA, Professor, University of Wisconsin

  160. Nancy Ruth, Canada, Senator

  161. Naomi Klein, Canada, Journalist and Activist

  162. Nathalie Margie, USA, Urgent Action Fund

  163. Netsai Mushonga, Zimbabwe, Commissioner, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; African Women Active Nonviolence Initiative for Social Change

  164. Nighat Said Khan, Pakistan, Executive Chair, DidiBahini

  165. Nina Tsikhistavi-Khutsishvili, Georgia, Board Chair, International Center on Conflict and Negotiation

  166. Noura Erakat, USA, Human Rights Attorney

  167. Nunu Kidane, USA, Board Member, Priority Africa Network

  168. Orysia Sushko, Ukraine, President, World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations

  169. Ouypourn Khuankaew, Thailand, Founder, International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice

  170. Pam McMichael, USA, Director of Highlander Research and Education Center

  171. Pamela Brubaker, USA, Professor Emerita, California Lutheran University

  172. Patricia Thane, United Kingdom, Professor, Kings College

  173. Paula Garb, USA, Co-Director, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, University of California, Irvine

  174. Penny Rosenwasser, USA, Founding Board Member, Jewish Voice for Peace

  175. Phyllis Bennis, USA, Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

  176. Regina Munoz, Sweden, Peace Activist

  177. Robina Marie Winbush, USA, Minister, Member of World Council of Churches Exec and Central Committee

  178. Rose Othieno, Uganda, Executive Director, Center for Conflict Resolution

  179. Saloni Singh, Nepal, Executive Chair, DidiBahini

  180. Samanthi Gunwardana, Australia, Monash University

  181. Sandra Moran, Guatemala, Co-Representative of Intl. Committee, Americas Region, World March of Women

  182. Setsuko Thurlow, Canada, International Educator, Hibakusha/A-Bomb Survivor

  183. Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Fiji, Executive Producer, FemLINKpacific; Board Chair, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

  184. Shirley Douglas, Canada, Actor and Activist

  185. Simone Chun, USA, Journalist and Activist

  186. Sophia Close, Australia, Australia National University, Canberra

  187. Sophie Toupin, Canada, Women Peace and Security Network Canada

  188. Soya Jung, USA, Writer and Activist

  189. Sue Wareham OAM, Australia, Vice-President, Medical Association for Prevention of War

  190. Sung-ok Lee, USA, Assistant General Secretary, United Methodist Women

  191. Susan Cundiff, USA, Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)

  192. Susan Smith, USA, Muslim Peace Fellowship

  193. Su Yon Pak, USA, Professor, Union Theological Seminary

  194. Suzuyo Takazato, Japan, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

  195. Suzy Kim, USA, Professor, Rutgers University

  196. Taina Bien-Aime, USA, Executive Director, International Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

  197. Tani Barlow, USA, Professor, Rice University

  198. Tanya Selvaratnam, USA, Senior Producer, Art Not War

  199. Terrilee Kekoolani, Ko Pae’Aina Hawai’i, Kanaka Maoli

  200. Terry Greenblatt, Israel/USA, The Ploughshares Fund

  201. Una Kim, USA, Researcher

  202. Unzu Lee, USA, Presbyterian Minister, Women for Genuine Security

  203. Valerie Plame, USA, Former Covert CIA Operations Officer

  204. Vana Kim, USA, Spiritual Teacher

  205. Visaka Dharmadasa, Sri Lanka, Founder, Association of War Affected Women

  206. Wei Zhang, USA, Folk Art Researcher

  207. Wendi Deetz, USA, Global Fund for Women

  208. Winnie Wang, USA, Center for Global Nonkilling

  209. Wonhee Anne Joh, USA, Professor of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

  210. Yayoi Tsuchida, Japan, General Secretary, Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

  211. Yifat Susskind, USA, Executive Director, MADRE

  212. Yoonkyung Lee, Canada, Professor, University of Toronto

  213. Youngju Ryu, USA, Professor, University of Michigan

(List in formation & Note: Organizations/Affiliations Listed Only for Identification Purposes )

International Women’s Organizations

  • Church Women United
  • International Women’s Network Against Militarism
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, UK Section
  • North Korean Women’s Organization
  • Korea Socialist Women’s Union

South Korean Women’s and Peace Organizations

  1. Women Making Peace (평화여성회)

  2. Korea Women’s Association United (한국여성단체연합/7개 지부, 30개 회원단체)

  3. Korean Association of Women Theologians (한국여신학자협의회)

  4. The Council of Churches in Korea, Women’s Committee (한국기독교교회협의회 여성위원회)

  5. The Association of Major Superiors of Women Religious in Korea (한국천주교여자수도회 장상연합회)

  6. The Righteous People for Korean Unification (새로운 백년을 여는 통일의병)

  7. The Gongju Women Human Rights Center (공주 여성인권)

  8. The World Council of Churches (세계교회협의회)

  9. The Christian Network for Peace and Unification (평화와통일을위한기독인연대)

  10. beyondit (너머서)

  11. Okedongmu Children in Korea (어린이 어깨동무)

  12. Women History Forum (여성역사포럼)

  13. Peace Mother (평화어머니회)

  14. Kyunggi Women’s Association United (경기여성연합)

  15. Kyunggi Goyang-Paju Women Link (경기 고양파주 민우회)

  16. Kyunggi Women’s Network (경기여성네트워크)

  17. The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (한국정신대문제대책협의회)

  18. Korea Women’s Political Solidarity (여세연)

  19. Korean Sharing Movement (우리민족서로돕기운동)

  20. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (참여연대)

  21. Iftopia (문화세상 이프토피아)

  22. Ewha Women’s Alumni Meeting for Democracy (이화민주동우회)

  23. Kyunggi Jinbo Women United (경기여성자주연대)

  24. Kyunggi Council of Women (경기여성단체협의회)

  25. Chungchung-namdo Education Center for Equality (충청남도 성평등교육문화센타)

  26. 21st Century Seoul Women’s Union (21세기 서울여성회)

  27. Common Nourishing and Education (공동육아와 공동체 교육)

  28. Ecumenical Youth Network (에큐메니칼 청년 네트워크)

  29. Women Ministers Association of Presbyterian Churches Korea (대한예수교장로회 전국여교역자연합회)

  30. Women Ministers’ Association of Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea

  31. (한국기독교장로회여교역자협의회)

  32. Korea Association Methodist Women in Ministry (기독교대한감리회 여교역자회)

  33. Korea Methodist Women’s Leadership Institute (감리교여성지도력개발원)

  34. Korea Church Women United (한국교회여성연합회)

  35. Duraebang (두레방)

  36. Sunlit Sisters’ Center (햇살사회복지회)

  37. United for Women’s Rights Against US Military Bases’ Crime (기지촌여성인권연대)

  38. United Voice for the Eradication of Prostitution: Hansori (성매매근절을위한 한소리회)

Women Cross DMZ (

Women Cross DMZ is an organization led by women working globally for peace in Korea. In May 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the division of Korea, Women Cross DMZ led a historic women’s peace walk across the De-Militarized Zone from North to South Korea to draw global attention to the urgent need to end the Korean War with a peace treaty, reunite divided families, and ensure women’s leadership in peacebuilding. Representing 15 countries, our 30-member international delegation walked with 10,000 Korean women on both sides of the DMZ.

Our mission is to:

  1. Promote women’s leadership in the peacebuilding process in Korea;
  2. Raise awareness about the urgent need for peace in Korea; and
  3. Expand and deepen relationships with women leaders and organizations in South Korea, North Korea, and around the world.