Message from the Chairman, Dr. Suzanne Scholte (Read here)
What is the North Korea Freedom Coalition?
The North Korea Freedom Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition founded in June, 2003 to work for the freedom, human rights, and dignity of the North Korea people. The Coalition currently has over 70 public member organizations representing millions of American, South and North Korean, and Japanese citizens as well as other nations, along with many individual members. The Coalition also has private members that provide humanitarian relief inside North Korea and members in China and other nations that feed, shelter, and rescue North Korean refugees.
Members are from all political parties and religious faiths and have many different views about North Korea, but share one thing in common: all believe that promoting human rights for North Korea must be the central focus of any and all policy towards North Korea.
The Coalition works closely with elected officials, other non-governmental organizations, and governments to achieve its goals.
The Coalition is most proud of the fact that all the major NGOs in the USA, Japan, and South Korea, and especially the North Korean defectors’ organizations, are either members of the Coalition or work as partners with the Coalition on its many activities.
Goals of the North Korea Freedom Coalition
1) Make Human Rights the key policy of all governments in dealing with North Korea
2) Save Lives by helping rescue refugees and pressuring China to to end its brutal repatriation policy
3) Close down political prison camps in North Korea
4) Pressure the DPRK to Release all abductees including Korean War POWs
5) Promote information into North Korea through all means
6) Get food aid directly to the North Korean people and end all food aid distribution controlled by the regime
7) Bring freedom, human rights, and dignity to the North Korean people
North Korea Freedom Day was first established in 2004 as a single day to galvanize public support in the United States for the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004 and to raise public awareness about the tragic human rights violations carried out against North Koreans. The day included many events including a press conference, demonstration at the U.S. Capitol, Congressional hearing, visits to members of Congress, prayer vigil, and the largest rally in support of North Korean
human rights that had ever been held outside the Korean peninsula. Members of Congress credited North Korea Freedom Day with leading to the successful passage of the North Korea Human Rights Act.
“The pivotal efforts of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, a group of more than 40 nonpartisan NGOs, deserves particular attention.” Congressman Jim Leach, author and sponsor of the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004, on the day of its passage: The Congressional Record.
“I want to commend the efforts as well of the North Korea Freedom Coalition which sponsored, as many Members know, the historic North Korea Freedom Day rally in Washington on April 28.” Congressman Chris Smith: sponsor of the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004, on the day of its passage: The Congressional Record.
It was expanded to a week long event in 2005 and each year North Korea Freedom Week has brought together people of many faiths and nationalities and political parties, with the defectors who have escaped from North Korea, to proclaim in one voice that North Koreans are deserving of the same freedoms and human rights as all free people enjoy. In addition to raising awareness of the suffering in North Korea and giving defectors the opportunity to speak out, the annual North Korea Freedom Week events have also resulted in meetings with the President of the United States with North Korean defectors and family members of abductees, as well as the first ever Congressional hearings to focus on the South Korean and Japanese abductee and POW issues and to expose the involvement of the Kim Jong-il regime in counterfeiting and drug
trafficking and other illicit activities.