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Women who dug up horrors of Korean War

Posted May. 01, 2021 07:24,   

Updated May. 01, 2021 07:24


Twenty-one women wrote their wills and headed to North Korea on May 15, 1951, in the midst of the Korean War. They were the members of the Korean War investigation committee of the Women's International Democratic Federation, which was formed to investigate the war damage endured by North Korean people. The female group was founded right after World War II in advocacy of anti-colonialism and was the first third-party group to investigate North Korea. The writer of the book tracked their footsteps whose activities had remained unknown.

The 21 female investigators were from 18 countries, including Denmark, Algeria, Argentina, and China, and six of them were from communist countries, such as the Soviet Union and East Germany. The group investigated over 10 cities, including Sinuiju and Pyongyang, for 10 days. They witnessed residents living in underground tunnels in ruins due to the all-round bombing of the Allied Forces since the Communist Chinese army joined the war. The group argued that bombing on densely-populated areas, rather than precision bombing, cannot be tolerated even for a war that started with legitimate reasons. The writer believes that their argument was degraded as the Soviet Union’s propaganda pamphlet due to the anti-communism movement, such as McCarthyism.

The book highlights the history of the Cold War, feminism, and peace movement from multiple angles through those who stood in solidarity with war-tormented women in third-world countries. During their on-site visits, the investigators were most frequently asked when the war will be over. It is regrettable that the war on the Korean Peninsula has yet to end 70 years after their investigation.