Date
22 March 2017
Activist Gloria Steinem will lead a march across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to call for an end to the Korean War. Photo: Bloomberg
Activist Gloria Steinem will lead a march across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to call for an end to the Korean War. Photo: Bloomberg

South Korea to let female activists march from north

South Korea will allow an international women’s group to enter the country on a planned march from North Korea through the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ).

The WomenCrossDMZ group, headed by activist and feminist Gloria Steinem, plans to embark on the May 24 march from the North Korean capital Pyongyang to the DMZ separating the two Koreas to “call for an end to the Korean War”, Reuters reported Friday, citing South Korean officials.

“There are some procedural steps left but we are headed in the direction of giving a green light,” a government official said.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Despite its name, the DMZ is one of the most heavily militarized and fortified borders in the world.

There are just three official inter-Korean border checkpoints where it is possible to traverse between the two Koreas, although such crossings are rare.

The official said Seoul had not yet publicly announced its approval because of ongoing discussions with United Nations Command (UNC) — the body in charge of the Panmunjom border crossing where North and South Korean soldiers stand across from each other in a daily face-off.

The group will be encouraged to cross at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Zone border post, another official said.

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