Korea and Demilitarized Peace

In this Periscope dossier, Korean diasporic scholars, artists, and cultural practitioners located across a geopolitical, interdisciplinary, and cultural spectrum consider the meanings of “demilitarized peace” in relation to the Korean War. By “demilitarized peace,” we refer to multi-scalar, multi-directional processes that cannot be solely confined to the realm of national diplomacy or a progressive timeline marked by definitive beginning and end points. The Korean War, after all, has not yet formally ended. Indeed, in the absence of a peace treaty, the seventy-year conflict has been characterized by an ebb-and-flow of potential peace offerings and the threat of rekindled fighting. While official negotiations mediated by nation-states are imperative to resolving key concerns including familial separations and nuclear warfare, respondents confront the meaning of state-produced “peace” when it remains indebted to and secured by US militarized investments. In contrast, respondents center a racialized, gendered, and feminist analysis to track accrued forms of colonial violence that remain on the fringes of inter/national negotiations for Korean peace, capitalist prosperity, and militarized stability. Specifically, by foregrounding an interdisciplinary range of aesthetic productions, cultural practices, and archival traces, the following multimedia essays reframe demilitarized peace through the critical lens of resistance and genuine security delinked from US empire and militarized occupation. Co-edited by Crystal Mun-hye Baik and Jane Jin Kaisen, this dossier’s contributors include Yong Soon Min, Suzy Kim, Soni Kum, Patty Ahn, Sukjong Hong, and Haruki Eda. Important editorial and conceptual feedback was provided by Chonghwa Lee.


Crystal Mun-hye Baik and Jane Jin Kaisen

In the past year, political uncertainties in the Korean Peninsula have been pronounced. While much can be said about the oscillating tensions between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States, it has been abundantly clear that official peace agreements … Continue reading “Introduction”

Both Sides Now

Yong Soon Min

I purchased two bundles of postcards during my travels to the DMZ, more specifically to Panmunjom and the Joint Security Area–one from ROK (South Korea/SK) in 1995 and one from DPRK (North Korea/NK) in 1998. I selected five images from … Continue reading “Both Sides Now”