The American Studies Association (ASA), an academic organization with over 5,000 members in the United States and around the world, announced in August 2021 its support for a resolution calling for a formal end to the Korean War. There’s more coming from the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective, a group of folks who initiated this resolution, including a public syllabus project.
“Few people in the United States are aware that the Korean War is not over, yet its irresolution negatively impacts the lives of millions of people on the Korean peninsula, in the diaspora, and throughout Asia and the Pacific,” collective member Christine Hong, chair of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz, stated. Although the July 27, 1953 Korean War armistice recommended that the United States, North Korea, and China to negotiate a permanent peace agreement in three months’ time, the Korean War persists today in the ongoing division of Korea, the continued U.S. military occupation of South Korea, the U.S.-led sanctions regime against North Korea, and the unabating militarization of the larger region. As collective member Crystal Baik, professor of gender and sexuality studies at UC Riverside, pointed out, for Koreans, the costs of ongoing war are stark: “militarized atrocities and continued separation from family and loved ones, [as well as] militarized sexual violence and ecological devastation.”