The DMZ and People (民) plus Hand in Hand Event for Peace on April 27

On April 27, a civilian-level human tie connection event was held near the South Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a symbol of the division of North and South Korea. 

Most interestingly, the organization responsible for the project did not spend its budget but successfully carried out the project with voluntary participation by participants in the DMZ and all parts of the country and abroad.

The issue of division in Korea has led to a tragedy in which many families have been separated for 70 years.

McCarthyism that used to be popular in the U.S. has still been used by conservative politicians as a political tool in Korean society.

In addition, the incompetent regime was impeached in 2017 due to the candlelight revolution of the peoples, and a new regime, the Moon Jae-in regime was established. 

As the cover of Time magazine defined Moon Jae-in as “Negotiator,” President Moon actually played a role of promoting reconciliation atmosphere for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula between the South and the North Korea, and the US

In this mood of reconciliation, there was a historic inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom in Korea on April 27, 2018, and the many of Koreans were impressed by the Panmunjom Declaration. Despite of disappointment at the second Summit between the US and North Korea at Hanoi, the preparation of railway and road connection between the South and the North Korea, an exhumation of remains of those killed in battle, and GP withdrawal in the DMZ are in progress without a break in accordance with the agreement between the South and the North

In the first anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration, President Moon Jae-in proclaimed that the Panmunjom declaration is still going on. Moreover, in order to emphasize the continuous development of peaceful relations between South and North Korea, he used one of his best friend and former president Roh Moo-hyun's wording, “The river does not stop flowing toward the sea, even if their way are many twists and turns.”

Indeed, Koreans still have a desire for peace between the South and the North. Consequently, on April 27, 2019, Koreans held a civilian-level event to achieve a peace regime through peaceful negotiations between the North and the United States.

The event was proposed by the DMZ Peace Humanitarian Campaign Headquarters, but it was impossible to recruit many people for a very short time. However, various civic groups such as the YMCA / YWCA and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy voluntarily raised fund and participated in this event.

About 500 kilometers and 2,500,000 people are needed to cover the entire border with the human tie, and more than 500,000 people participated in the event, including online participants.
 

▲Credit: http://www.dmzpeacechain.com/

Impressively, students who were unable to participate due to the exam schedule joined by making human tie in the playground, while overseas residents also participated by posting hand-in-hand pictures online.

▲Cheolwon DMZ Peace Campaign. [Credit: Lee Sang Kil]

In the past, similar events were created in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on August 23, 1989. They made human tie and shouted ‘freedom’ for 15 minutes. In this way, the Baltic States became independent from Russia without war or conflict. The “Baltic Road” of human tie, called “the Singing Revolution”, has been recorded in world history.

▲Paju PSPD(People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy) members chain. [Credit: Lee Sang Kil]

The members of the civic group had a time to talk about the purpose of their participation. A participant said that he felt sorry that the settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula did not go fast that he expected after the inter-Korean summit.

▲Paju PSPD(People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy) members chain 2. [Credit: Lee Sang Kil]

Another participant said, “As I have known the will for independence led Korean achieve the dream of a democratic republic with the 3.1 revolution 100 years ago, I came to act together to achieve the dream of peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula,” and added, “This Hand in hand event for Peace will be the beginning of peace.”
A new path to peace on the Korean Peninsula is not only to create an era of permanent peace in Northeast Asia by eliminating hostile relations with North Korea, but also enable North Korean to improve its economy through the permanent peace. In order for North Korea to become an engine of joint growth through peace with the U.S. and other Western countries, people on the Korean Peninsula want the DMZ to become a peaceful venue for inter-Korean exchanges.

▲Paju YMCA/YWCA members chain. [Credit: Lee Sang Kil]
▲Cheolwon DMZ Peace Campaign in old Labor party building. [Credit: Lee Sang Kil]

The Earth looked like a pale blue spot when Carl Sagan turned the Voyager's camera toward the Earth. In his writings, we think about human peace in a small earth.

"This place where we live is just a lonely spot in the dark. Is there anything else that can save us in this vast darkness? Does the picture make you think that? Is there anything that shows our arrogance easier than this picture of our little world? Rather than this pale blue dot, is there anything that explicitly shows our responsibility to treat the only home we know dearly, to treat each other's warmth?"

In his writings, we think of human peace on a small land.
The human tie for peace can be the beginning of action for world peace.

 

Writer From South Korea people.
Kim Cheol Hoe : Member of PSPD(People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
Lee Sang Kil : Member of Saegil Church