Letter from Gloria Steinem to South Korean Ambassador Appealing Ban

Dear Ambassador Ahn,

Two years ago, I was one of thirty women from fifteen countries– including Nobel Peace Laureates from Liberia and Northern Ireland, and longtime peace activists as well as a retired U.S. Army Colonel — who crossed the DMZ between North and South Korea. On that 70th anniversary of the U.S. and Soviet division of Korea, we wanted to symbolize the
possibility of peaceful contact where decades of isolation and militarism had failed to pave the way for communication and united families.

For Christine Ahn, a Korean American who was one of the main organizers of our Peace Walk — as for others from South Korea and the Korean diaspora — this was an act of deep patriotism and love for their motherland.

Now, Christine tells me that she has been denied entry to visit South Korea, the place of her birth. This seems to be a punishment for
having been a part of our global delegation. I find it hard to believe that such a peaceful, principled and patriotic action would be punished by the last South Korean administration, so I turn to you to ask how it can be reversed.

I could not forgive myself if I did not do everything I can to keep Christine from being punished for an act of patriotism and love that should be rewarded. I feel this especially right now when my own country’s President is restricting the right to enter the United States, based only on religion; something that goes against our Constitution, our history and
our majority beliefs. It seems that we all have to speak up against forces that would separate us.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I so appreciate your help in righting this injustice.


Gloria Steinem

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Women Cross DMZ