World Female Activists Plan on Border Crossing From North Korea to South Korea
kpopluv, March 12, 2015, 10:40 a.m.
A group of foreign activists planning a cross-border trip from Pyongyang to Seoul in May is not required to obtain advance approval from the South Korean government, an official said Thursday.
Last month, about 30 female activists from around the world, including Gloria Steinem from the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire from Ireland, announced their plan to march from North Korea to the South via the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) that bisects the two Koreas, to mark the May 24 International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament.
It is part of their campaign to promote peace in the region often threatened by volatile relations between the Koreas. They have said the plan was endorsed by the North Korean regime, although they have not received reaction from the South.
"In case (applicants) are not South or North Koreans, (the government) is not in the position to give approval for a North Korea visit under the local inter-Korean exchange and cooperation law," said the official from the unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs. "They may need to file (for approval) with the United Nations Command (in charge of maintaining the DMZ) if they are to pass through the DMZ," he said.
Any South Koreans are required to win government approval before traveling to North Korea, which is defined by Seoul as the main enemy state. Concerning the necessary immigration process the activists need to undergo when entering South Korean soil, the government will review the group's plan after receiving details of its itinerary, including the course of the march, the official also noted.