May 15th 2015 – Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire co-chair of the movement Women Cross the DMZ will travel on Saturday 16th with Peace People Executive Member , Ann Patterson, to Beijing, China, for several days, and onwards to North Korea, to participate in a historic walk across the DMZ on 24th May, 2015.
Thirty International women will embark on their historic walk across the DMZ between North and South Korea to call for an end to the Korean war and they have welcomed the official approval from the South Korean Government today.
The International womens peace walk is scheduled for May 24th, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire, and Peace People Executive member, Ann Patterson, will walk with women leaders from fifteen countries, many of which countries participated in the l950-53 Korean war. Their goal is to draw global attention to the urgent need to end the Korean war by replacing the ceasefire with a peace treaty, to help reunite families separated by the DMZ and to ensure that women are involved at all levels of the peacebuilding process. North Korea gave official approval last month for the women’s peace walk and symposium in Pyongyang. A symposium, rally hosted by Mayor of Seoul, South Korea, will also be attended by the Women peacemakers.
At the symposium in Pyongyang on ‘women building peace’ and there will be a showing of the documentary on the Peace People Rallies and Peace Movement of N. Ireland in l976. The story of Northern Ireland peace process, and the role the civil society and women played in bringing an end to violence, can give hope to others travelling the road to peace and reconciliation. Maguire said ‘there must be an end to war and a peace agreement, as peace and stability are important prerequisites for human rights and development’ in North Korea.
Maguire and Patterson will carry Greeting cards from the children of local Belfast Schools to the children of Pongyang and Seoul. Ann Patterson thanked all those children, their parents and teachers, in Northern Ireland, who have reached out across the world to tell the people of North Korea, they are not forgotten and that many people support them in their work to end war and have a peace settlement for Korea. There will be actions of support held in Belfast and Derry on Sunday 24th May, 2015 and Maguire and Patterson, the peace people delegation to North/South Korea, extended their appreciation and thanks to all those people in N.Ireland for their support to not only ending war in Korea but all wars which need to be abolished for the sake of our human survival.