Suzy Kim, a professor of Korean history at Rutgers University who is another main organizer, said the group had yet to hear anything from the South Korean government side. South Korean officials declined to comment on the proposal Wednesday.
The group’s intent is to walk across the DMZ, from North to South, on May 24, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.
Ms. Kim credited the original idea to Ms. Ahn, who founded a group called Women De-Militarize the Zone a few years ago. “She had been thinking of how neglected the women’s role had been” in attempting to solve the Korean impasse, Ms. Kim said.
Ms. Ahn’s website, WomenCrossDMZ.org, said the planned walk was meant as a “symbolic act of peace.”
Thirty female peace activists from around the world are the core group of walkers. They include Ms. Steinem’s fellow honorary co-chairwoman, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, a 1976 Nobel Peace laureate from Northern Ireland, who helped organize enormous peace demonstrations, mostly of women, that crossed sectarian lines and helped end the bloodshed there.
Another organizer, Leymah Gbowee, shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to civil war in Liberia in 2003 and led to the eventual exile, and successful war-crimes prosecution, of President Charles G. Taylor.
Ms. Kim acknowledged that the currently high level of North-South hostility, coupled with the North’s regular denunciations of the United States, the South’s principal ally, was “not a climate to achieve an agreement” to replace the armistice.
“On the other hand, the kind of deadlock we’re in makes it all the more important and necessary in not being O.K. with the status quo,” she said.
via With Plan to Walk Across DMZ, Women Aim for Peace in Korea – NYTimes.com.