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Crossing the Korean DMZ for Peace


Crossing the Korean DMZ for Peace

Medea Benjamin

The George W. Bush administration famously dubbed Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the “Axis of Evil.”

The White House accused that ominous-sounding triumvirate of funding terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction. The goal was to garner public support for the “war on terror” that’s devastated the Middle East and militarized U.S. foreign policy.


It should be pointed out that Obama has only made limited overtures to Cuba because of corporate pressure by agricultural conglomerates who view the ten million Cubans as having great potential to switch from locally grown foods to cheaply produced imported GM industrial produced crops. As for Iran, bullying a country to unilaterally pledge to never build a nuclear bomb while the U.S. and Israel claim that their unfair advantage of possessing nuclear weapons is off the table, is ludicrous in the least.
Any attempt to sway our corporate sycophants in D.C. to actually discuss reunification with North Korea is impossible. Corporate America has too much to lose promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula while have too much to gain from reinforcing the status quo. South Korea’s annual payment of over 50 billion for the U.S. to station a handful of military bases in South Korea as well as the constant sale of US made weapons to the South has proven to be very profitable for the US. Also reunification would provide a massive economic boom in the South as this would eliminate South Korea from being virtually landlocked. A simple railroad through a unified Korea to the rest of the Eurasian landmass would give Koreans a large competitive advantage in that part of the world.
As a result of this economic reality, all US politicians are under a direct order not to engage any North Korean from the Supreme leader down to the lowliest civil servant. Peace is never to be discussed unless it is a complete, unconditional surrender of the North. No aid will be delivered to ease the suffering of the North Koreans. No scaling back of military exercises will be forthcoming and US embassy will ever be allowed to open in Pyongyang.
It would be better if this group of women exerted their influence on expelling our corrupt, corporate friendly government and accepting the cruel reality that our government is incapable of making logical decisions that favour the public interest.


The situation in North Korea defies any simple solutions. I have met North Korean defectors. They are definitely telling the truth. I am also quite familiar with North Korea as seen with Google Earth and other space imaging- they are quite visible on declassified satellite imagery going back to the 1970s. (They were far bigger then than now) What are we to do? I don’t know, but one thing would help a great deal which is in our control, we should close Guantanamo Bay and all similar facilities, and stop “rendition” and all secret jails. We also should repudiate “first use” of nuclear weapons.

And all Americans should take some quality time to watch the many hours of defector testimony from the 2013 UN Commission of inquiry, visible on the UN web site. This is an exhausting experience but once you do that, you will know far more about the situation there than you would learn from any book. Please consider watching these videos -

A good source of information on current North Korean news with an appropriate balance of human rights issues is the English language part of http://dailynk.com

The political situation in South Korea has to be understood in the context of the postwar period when both North and South Korea’s governments were in a race to see who could be most repressive. Since many South Koreans were familiar with their own governments brutal repression, they became less aware than they should have been of the even worse repression going on in the North.

Its a similar situation in the US. We should be careful that we dont buy into the natural but in this case quite wrong assumption that if Bush (and now Obama) condemns them they are probably not as bad as we say. In reality, they are worse than we say. It has always been that way. I dont know how else to put it. Not only are they horrible, but you can actually follow the defector stories and see the places they are talking about on Google Earth. Sometimes you can even see individuals, for example, walking in the snow, when the sun creates a long shadow.

When the borders open and the carnage of the last 70 years finally sees the light of day, the world will be shocked beyond the ability of words to explain.


What a great idea, Medea! Goddess bless you and the whole Peace Team! Leave it to women to pave a path beyond the inanity of Mars rules… and its endless wars.


I admire the initiative, and applaud the courage. Excellent idea ladies.