Chosun Ilbo Special Contribution: In Defense of Park Sang Hak and Balloon Launches to North Korea

By Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate
July 5, 2020

The Chosun Ilbo

We can have a lively debate – because we have the blessings of currently living in free societies — on whether balloon launches are an effective means of getting truth and hope, information and humanitarian assistance to North Korea, or whether they are ineffective.  But one thing we know for sure: there is a serious lack of knowledge about Kim Jong Un in the outside world.  This was clearly on display for all to see recently when the  media was all abuzz about his well-being: was he alive or dead, brain dead or totally fine, had he suffered a heart attack or an injury during military exercises?  No one knew for sure.  Only the Kim family’s elite inner power circle knew what was up.

And here are a few other things we can be sure of:

The greatest resource we have for understanding the North Korean regime are the defectors, especially those from elite families like Park Sang Hak.  They understand the mindset of the Kim family.  They know how it successfully functions and know that keeping the North Korean people in the dark and cutting them off from the outside world is critical for the regime’s survival.

Thus, getting information in and out of North Korea is critically important.

Park Sang Hak – and his fellow defectors whether elites like Huh Kwang Il and Kim Heung Kwang or rescuers like Lee So Yeon and Kim Tae Hee, whether new Assemblymen like Thae Young Ho or Ji Seong Ho – could have chosen a quiet and peaceful life in South Korea.  They are all extremely bright and enormously talented.  But instead they have chosen to stand up for the people of North Korea in the hostile environment Moon Jae In has created for them in South Korea.

Park is one example of so many defector leaders who chose to put his own life at risk, sacrificed his own financial security and his reputation by leading Fighters for Free North Korea.

Let’s examine what Park has been sending to North Korea: leaflets describing true facts and current news about the regime, shortwave radios, US one dollar bills, choco pies, protective masks, etc. 

Let’s examine why Park is doing this?  Because he cannot forget the suffering of the people he left behind in North Korea.  He knows what they need.  They need truth.  They need hope.

As the defectors repeatedly tell us: the truth will set them free.

We should be using every possible peaceful means to reach the people of North Korea whether balloon launches or rice bottle launches, whether radio broadcasting or smuggling in SD cards.  Defectors send rice and choco pies, and the North threatens to send bombs and cigarette butts.

Sister Kim Yo Jong’s latest tantrums confirm that balloon launches are effective.  Instead of encouraging nonviolent methods of outreach to the people of North Korea, the Moon administration is instead silencing the voices of defectors and worse he is now putting Park’s life at risk.

President Moon has the highest moral obligation and constitutional responsibility of anyone in this world to uphold the freedom and human rights of the Korean people. Instead of standing up for them, Moon is acting on behalf of Kim Jong Un’s regime. 

What an irony that had it not been for the wisdom of his Mother who fled to South Korea during the War, Moon may have lived under the very tyranny that Park and his family fled.

Whatever happens to Park, Moon is responsible.

And all of us who believe in speaking truth and upholding freedom and human rights must stand up for the North Korean defectors and support their work.  We must never forget that 23 million human beings are living under a dictatorship that is committing crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights every day against men, women, and children whose only misfortune was not having a wise Mother or simply being born North of the DMZ rather than South of the DMZ.


This article was originally published in Korean by The Chosun Ilbo.

ONE Korea 625 2020

Livestream Available on YouTube now!

For the 70th anniversary since the Korean War, we are holding an online livestream event to gather people from all over the world to pray together for peace to come on the Korean peninsula.

The livestream event can be found on Facebook Live and YouTube Live and the links will be posted shortly. It will also be recorded for those who aren’t able to tune in at the live time.

We recommend that you host watching parties and invite other friends to watch it with you to help create greater awareness for the Korean peninsula’s need for peace.

We will feature guests from all over the world who will share with us their heart for the Koreas and who will lead us in times of prayer.

Some of these guests include:

  • Dan Baumman (YWAM)
  • Jamie Kim (REAH International)
  • Ben Torrey (Fourth River Ministry)
  • Suzanne Scholte (Executive Director of the Defense Forum Foundation and New Korea Freedom Coalition)
  • Ed & Linda Hackett (IHOPKC)
  • God’s Image NOVA
  • and many more pastors and professors from all over the world.

The main program will begin at 6 PM EST (3 PM PST). There will also be a pre-event that begins at 5:30 PM EST (2:30 PM PST) that will feature personal stories of those who have been affected by the Korean War and who are doing work to bring unity and peace onto the Korean peninsula.

Facebook Event and RSVP:

https://www.facebook.com/events/916673035425465/

YouTube Livestream:

https://youtu.be/PQSxh_MGYsE

Free North Korea Radio fights to free ‘psychological slaves’ of Kim Jong Un

By Dana Kennedy
May 16, 2020
New York Post

Lee Park escaped from North Korea in 2004 but she knows pretty much what her parents were doing when NBA legend Dennis Rodman hung out with Kim Jong Un for a wild night of “hotties and vodka” in 2013.

“They were doing the same thing they do every day, like everyone else in North Korea,” said Park, 39, who landed in New York City in 2006 and now lives near Washington DC. “They don’t know any different. They’re all indoctrinated from birth.”

Her parents start their day in Chongjin by bowing to photographs of Kim’s father and grandfather, who founded North Korea in 1948, on their living room wall. Everyone is required to hang them in their home.

“You have to wipe down the pictures every day in case the police come,” Park told the Post. “When they do, they check to make sure the pictures aren’t dirty.”

Once a week, in the early evening, Park’s parents, brother and the majority of North Korea’s 24 million citizens from 8 to 80 meet for “self-criticism classes” where they’re forced to report on themselves and each other for various infractions.

“You have to confess your sins first and then the sins of others,” Park said. “It’s awful. There’s no freedom there, no humanity. They’re taught to worship Kim Jong Un. We are also all taught to hate Americans. My parents could never conceive of Kim partying with an American basketball star.”

To help the people left behind, Park and other North Korean defectors are big supporters of the US-funded, Seoul-based Free North Korea Radio that began the year Park escaped and which broadcasts news of the outside world every day and night without fail into the Hermit Kingdom.

The broadcast is needed more than ever, says Suzanne Scholte, the American founding co-chair of Free North Korea Radio and president of the Washington DC Defense Forum Foundation.

Continue reading “Free North Korea Radio fights to free ‘psychological slaves’ of Kim Jong Un”

17th Annual North Korea Freedom Week 2020

The corona virus cannot stop North Korea Freedom Week!    

Although we are unable to send delegations to Seoul for the 17th Annual North Korea Freedom Week which will take place April 26-May 2, 2020, in South Korea, I am pleased to share with you that sessions will be posted on YouTube hosted by North Korean defector leaders each day discussing important topics AND everyone around the world is invited to watch online but also join with us in solidarity for a day of prayer and fasting for the people of North Korea on April 28th.  The sessions are generally scheduled for 9 am KST (Korean Standard Time)– so folks in the USA would watch the evening before and sessions will be in Korean, of course. 

For the April 28th day of prayer and fasting, we posted the photos and short bios of 9 key people in authority in the DPRK for special prayers in these times of uncertainty.   Our NKFW theme is The Restoration of North Korea that the land once known as the Oriental Jerusalem would be freed from the demonic oppression under which its people suffer and be restored to God, so that North Koreans can live with freedom, human rights and dignity.  Hence, we hope that folks around the world would join us in unity to pray for the freedom of North Korea and specifically pray for a change of heart in these 9 key leaders especially on the historic day of April 28th.

Visit NKFW.org For More Information and the Schedule

Continue reading “17th Annual North Korea Freedom Week 2020”

Action items for North Korea’s Freedom and Human Rights and A Word about the South Korea’s Elections

Dear Friends:

Please consider these three action items for this month of April in which everyone around the world can take part from the safety of your home:

  • FIRST: BECOME A PARTNER BROADCASTING INFORMATION TO NORTH KOREA
  • SECOND: Participate in North Korea Freedom Week April 26-May 2nd 2020 
  • THIRD: Join Special Programs Broadcast to North Korea Letters from America or Free North Korea Radio Brings Your Friends of the World

Acta Non Verba,

Suzanne

Continue reading “Action items for North Korea’s Freedom and Human Rights and A Word about the South Korea’s Elections”

Join Our Webinar to Discuss the Human Rights of North Korean Women on March 10th

Dear Friends:

As promised, I am following up to let you know that NKFC Vice Chair Jason West has set up an online webinair for us, so that our planned panel at the UN Commission on the Status of Women can go forward. 
The online webinar will be held tomorrow night March 10th at 6:15 pm and everyone is invited to join.  
You can find all details here for how to join this event online at this link:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/25-years-of-repression-and-regression-for-north-korean-women-tickets-96724211721

Many thanks and blessings,

Suzanne

NGO CSW64 Forum Venues Closed

I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware that the UN Commission on the Status of Women has closed all venues due to the corona virus.  Thus, we will not be able to host our panel with North Korean women escapees and NGO experts next week in New York City as planned.  We are looking at alternatives plans and will keep you posted.  Thank you for your understanding.

Warmest regards,


Suzanne

Join Us in New York City! at NKFC’s panel March 10th during the UN Commission on the Status of Women

We are once again ensuring that the voices of the women of North Korea are heard during the annual UNCSW.  The North Korea Freedom Coalition is hosting a panel at the UN CSW entitled: 25 Years of Repression and Regression for North Korean Women to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration.  Our panel will be Tuesday, March 10th at 6:15 pm in the Aqua Room at 4 West 43rd Street, New York, New York (same location as last year).  We have two amazing eyewitnesses to speak out on behalf of the women of North Korea: Eiko Kawasaki, North Korean escapee of Japan, and Shinae Oh, North Korean escapee of the USA, plus outstanding NGO experts to provide insights and recommendations: Ann Buwalda, of our own NFKC, Greg Scarlatiou of HRNK, and John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

Everyone is invited to attend and can RSVP at this link: nkwomen.eventbrite.com

We will also be visiting several UN Missions to request specific actions that can be taken to address the status of North Korean women both in their homeland but also as refugees.  You all know — but most people do not — that most of the escapees from North Korea are women as they bear the brunt of the suffering in the DPRK.  You can also help us accomplish this work by supporting these efforts financially. Your Financial Support Is needed:  Please consider a donation – any amount helps – to support this effort to ensure that the suffering of the women of North Korea is not ignored.  Donations can be made online here at: http://www.plumfund.com/charity-fundraising/csw2020

Many thanks and blessings,

Suzanne