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March 3, 2022

 

Honorable Wendy Sherman

Deputy Secretary of State

United States of America

 

Madame Choe Son-hui

First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 

Dear Honorable Wendy Sherman and Madame Choe Son-hui,

 

We are international women leaders writing to you, as the highest-ranking women diplomats in your respective countries, in the hopes that you will represent the interests of women. In light of the dangerous increasing tensions between the United States (U.S.) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.), we believe the two countries are headed toward further escalation and possible military confrontation. 

 

We are appealing to you at this critical juncture to please do what you can to make sure the table is set to reach the best possible diplomatic solution between the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. and other key stakeholders. Diplomacy through authentic engagement and dialogue is the best way to build trust and tangibly reduce tensions and make progress on peace in Korea.

 

In order to break the current deadlock between the two countries, the U.S. must give up its “maximum pressure” campaign. Without substantive policy changes to the U.S.’ policy towards North Korea, progress will not be achievable. 

 

We hope that the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. will pick up where negotiations left off in 2019 and follow through on commitments made in the Singapore Declaration to improve relations and create a lasting peace. Specifically, we hope the two countries will begin the process toward the signing of a peace agreement to formally end the Korean War — the root cause of tensions and hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. 

 

As women advocates for peace, we are concerned about how continued tensions impact the lives of millions of people on the Korean Peninsula, especially women: Families have been ripped apart. Sanctions have adverse consequences on humanitarian aid and human rights, especially for women and children. Investments in the military reduce the ability of governments to meet the basic needs of their people.

 

We also know that women are powerful agents for peace. We urge you to meet and work together to break this vicious cycle of escalation on the Korean Peninsula and secure a more peaceful future for Koreans and Americans.

 

Sincerely,

 

1.   Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ, Executive Director, USA

2.   Kozue Akibayashi, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Japan), Japan

3.   Georgia Darehshori, Casa Karma, Peacebuilder, Mexico4. Janis Alton, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Canada

5.   Emma Belcher, President, Ploughshares Fund, USA/Australia 

6.   Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODEPINK, USA

7.   Marie E. Berry, Professor, University of Denver, USA

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

9.   Barbara Briggs-Letson, CODEPINK, USA

10. Maria Butler, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Ireland

11. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, USA 

12. Youngmi Cho, Korean Women's Movement for Peace, Republic of Korea

13. Youngsook Cho, Ambassador for Gender Equality, ROK, Republic of Korea 

14. Aiyoung Choi, Board Chair, Women Cross DMZ, USA

15. Don Mee Choi, Poet, 2020 National Book Award for Poetry, USA

16. Sunghee Choi, Peace Activist, Gangjeong Jeju Island, Republic of Korea

17. Sooknam Choo, Civil Rights Lawyer, LCSW-Bereavement Counselor, USA

18. Rachel Clark, Veterans for Peace, USA

19. Cynda Collins Arsenault, co-founder Secure World Foundation, One Earth Future Foundation, Arsenault Family Foundation, USA

20. Wendi Deetz, Women Cross DMZ, USA

21. Jeannie Diefenderfer, CourageNpurpose, LLC, USA

22. Ani DiFranco, Singer and Songwriter, USA

23. Gay Dillingham, Filmmaker, USA

24. Anne E. Delaney, Starry Night Fund, USA

25. Abigail Disney, Filmmaker, USA

26. Maud Easter, Women Against War, USA

27. Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Lawyer, 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate, Iran  

28. Jodie Evans, Co-Founder, CODEPINK, USA

29. Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Switzerland 

30. Jane Fonda, Actor, Activist, USA

31. Eva Eriksson Fortier, Humanitarian Aid Worker, Sweden

32. Dr. Ann Frisch, Prof. Emerita, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh US, Chair Rotary Action Group for Peace Nuclear Weapons Education, USA

33. Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Liberia

34. Patricia Guerrero, Lawyer, 2017 American Bar Association Human Rights Award, Colombia

35. Sara Haghdoosti, Executive Director, Win Without War, USA

36. Alexandra Han, Nodutdol, USA

37. Mi-Kyoung Han, Korea Women’s Alliance, Republic of Korea

38. Mimi Han, Vice President, World YWCA, Republic of Korea

39. Nataly Jung-Hwa Han, Chairwoman of Korea Verband, Germany

40. Leila Hessini, Global Fund for Women, USA

41. Lisa M Holton, Holton Consulting, USA

42. Rebekah Jaung, New Zealand Coalition for Inter-Korean Peace, New Zealand

43. Seung Hee Jeon, New England Korea Peace Campaign, USA 

44. Sally E Jones, Peace Action Fund of New York State, USA

45. Dr. Rebecca R. Johnson, ED, Acronym Intl. Disarmament Diplomacy, United Kingdom

46. Meri Joyce, Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), Australia/Japan

47. Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Yemen

48. Jeongsoo Kim, Women Making Peace, Republic of Korea

49. Nan Kim, Professor, University of Wisconsin, USA50. Shawn Kim, Stanford University, Director of Special Programs, USA

51. Suzy Kim, Professor of Korean History, USA

52. Tammy Kim, Councilmember, City of Irvine, CA, USA

53. Gwyn Kirk, Women for Genuine Security, USA

54. You-Kyung Ko, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Republic of Korea

55. Cynthia Lazaroff, Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy, USA

56. Jae-Jung Lee, National Assembly Member, Foreign Affairs Committee, Republic of Korea

57. Catherine Anne Lutz, Brown University, USA

58. Ann Kittredge, CODE PINK, USA

59. Emma Leslie, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Cambodia

60. M. Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Boston College, USA

61. Elizabeth MacQueen, Director, MacQueen Fine Art, USA

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

63. Liza Maza, former Member of Parliament, Philippines

64. Rhonda Joy McLean, Board Member, Columbia University, USA

65. Bridget Moix, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation, USA

66. Senator Marilou McPhedran, Senate of Canada, Canada

67. Tania Miletic, Initiative for Peacebuilding, University of Melbourne, Australia

68. Lisa Linda Salas Natividad, I Hagan Famalao'an Guahan, Guam

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

70. Lynne Park, New Zealand Coalition for Inter-Korean Peace, New Zealand 

71. Tania Principe, Nobel Women's Initiative, Interim Executive Director, Canada

72. Kavita Nandini Ramdas, Social Justice Activist and Philanthropic Advisor, USA

73. Lalita Ramdas, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, former board member Green Peace, India

74. Dr. Sagari Ramdas, Food Sovereignty Alliance, USA

75. Madeleine Rees, Secretary General, WILPF, United Kingdom

76. Emily Rubino, Peace Action New York State, USA

77. Stephanie Savell, Co-Director, Costs of War Project, Brown University, USA

78. Susan Schnall, Veterans for Peace, USA

79. Maya Soetoro, Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, USA

80. Jay Song, Associate Professor of Korean Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia

81. Gloria Steinem, Feminist, Author, Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Recipient, USA

82. Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE, USA

83. Patti Talbott, Team Leader, Global Partnership Program, The United Church of Canada, Canada

84. Madison Tang, CODE PINK, USA

85. Vivian Tseng, Philanthropist, Asian Women Giving Circle, USA

86. Corazon Valdez Fabros, International Peace Bureau, Philippines

87. Ria Verjauw, Spokesperson International Coalition for a Ban on Uranium Weapons, Belgium

88. Cora Weiss, UN Representative, International Peace Bureau, USA

89. Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, USA

90. Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate, USA

91. Rev. Dr. Lois Wilson, Former Moderator, United Church of Canada, Canada

92. Colonel Ann Wright, Veterans for Peace, USA

93. Leslie Wright, Peace Activist, USA

94. Amelia Wu, Ibis Reproductive Health, USA

95. Sunyoung Yang, Political Director, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, USA

96. Joy Yoon, Humanitarian Aid Worker, IGNIS Community, USA/Republic of Korea97. Ji-Yeon Yuh, Professor, Northwestern University, USA

98. Salma Yusuf, Human Rights Lawyer, Sri Lanka 

99. Greta Zarro, Organizing Director, World BEYOND War, USA

100.      Natalia Zhurina, Nuclear Disarmament Expert, Russia

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