More than 130 female activists from 38 countries pressed the leader of the United Nations on Tuesday to fulfill a goal he declared after assuming the job a decade ago: a permanent peace treaty to end the Korean War, The New York Times reports.

 

In an open letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea whose tenure will expire at the end of the year, the women implored him to “lead the process of bringing formal closure to the longest standing war before you leave your post at the United Nations.”

 

The letter was co-sponsored by Women Cross DMZ, a group that organized a peaceful walk last year across the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a prominent antiwar group that is more than 100 years old.

 

Mr. Ban, rumored to be contemplating a run to be president of South Korea after he leaves the United Nations, has often expressed a wish to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

 

Those tensions have escalated under Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, who has conducted missile and nuclear weapons tests in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions that have left the country deeply isolated.

 

Despite hopes that Mr. Ban, 72, might visit North Korea before he leaves the United Nations, he said recently that such a trip was highly unlikely.

 

Christine Ahn, the international coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, said in an email that the letter was sent on Tuesday, the last day of the annual General Assembly session in New York, “in the hopes of encouraging Mr. Ban to uphold this promise long after he leaves the U.N.”

 

The signers of the letter included a number of prominent women in education, the arts and activism on disarmament issues.

 

They included the filmmaker Abigail Disney, the playwright Eve Ensler, the feminist leader Gloria Steinem and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee.

 

Photo: www.sigmalive.com

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