HRNK Report Launch: Denied from the Start: Human Rights at the Local Level in North Korea

NEW HRNK REPORT HIGHLIGHTS THE LIFE OF NORTH KOREANS OUTSIDE OF PYONGYANG A ND EXPLAINS THE MECHANISM OF HUMAN RIGHTS DENIAL AT THE LOCAL LEVEL; FEATURES FIRST-HAND TESTIMONY OF MANDATORY SELF-CRITICISM SESSIONS

THE REPORT IS AVAILABLE HERE

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North Korean Human Rights on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

HRNK, PSCORE, NKFC and other North Korean human rights organizations organized a panel discussion on “North Korean Human Rights on the 70th Anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights” on October 24 at UN Headquarter, New York City. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen of USUN Mission delivered the remarks on North Korean human rights and the importance of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and special witnesses, Mr. Jung Kwang-il and Roh Hui-chang presented their experience and current situation in the political prison camp as well as North Korean overseas slave workers.  (SEE FLYER)

SNKR Day 2018 Report

September 24 was Save North Korean Refugees Day, and NKFC members in 25 cities of 11 countries participated to call for China to stop the brutal repatriation policy on North Korean refugees. NKFC members and member organizations held various events, including the conference on North Korean human rights, film screening of “Crossing”, and protest in front of Chinese Embassy. Others sent hundreds of petitions to local Chinese Embassy and Consulate addressed to President Xi Jinping to plea to stop the repatriation policy; in Malawi, Dr. Jones Chamangwana who organized a demonstration in front of Chinese Embassy where dozens of people participated, wrote “Malawi has responded to the call around the world.” And Kris Han in New York City delivered the petition to the Chinese Consulate in New York, and when it was refused, she sat there and protested peacefully. Thank you so much for all of you who have participated and prayed for Save North Korean Refugees Day! (SEE REPORT)

 

 

October Member Announcements and Updates

North Korean defector leaders submitted a written statement to the White House which was drafted by NKFC and FNKR to warn about ongoing inter-Korea peace talk. It was successfully delivered and well received by the White House. (SEE LETTER)

HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatiou wrote an OPED: How Seoul Tacitly Endorses Pyongyang’s Brutality published by the Wall Street Journal about how the current South Korean government is sidelining the human rights issues which is  “akin to surrender” to North Korea. (SEE OPED)

Bruce Bechtol wrote a new book titled North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa: Enabling Violence and Instability. It is the first comprehensive study on how North Korea is spreading turmoil around the world by proliferating the weapons of mass destruction, as well as the financial network the regime is using for money laundering to avoid international sanctions. (SEE FLYER)

NKFC Hosts Kenneth Bae

Special Guest: KENNETH BAE –NKFC was honored to have as its special guest Kenneth Bae. He shared his story about how he delivered the Gospel to people he met in North Korea, not only during his work as a missionary, but also as a political prisoner when he was imprisoned for the accusation of attempting to “overthrow the regime” by “spreading the Christian virus.” He emphasized the importance of information inflow to North Korea because it is the key to bring real change. It is especially important to deliver the Gospel and give them access to the Bible, because Bae said North Korea is an unprecedented case in a way that the name of Jesus has never been known to people, when Pyongyang was at one time called the “Jerusalem of the East” over a hundred years ago. 

He explained that he started the ‘Nehemiah Project’ last year to save and support North Koreans and work for peaceful unification. The Nehemiah Project’s goals are to remember the people of North Korea through a prayer petition campaign, to rescue and protect North Korean refugees in China, especially children whose mothers either died or were repatriated through sheltering them at an orphanage, and to restore and rebuild the hearts and minds of the North Korean defectors who are resettled in South Korea through Nehemiah Global Community Center.  At the Center defectors can participate in prayer meetings, counseling sessions and youth groups. Also, the Nehemiah Project is sponsoring information outreach projects such as rice bottle launches and training North Korean defectors at a mission academy and preparing people for unification. Now more than 3,000 people around the country are praying together for North Korea through the Nehemiah Global Initiative. Those who are interested in and would like to join NGI’s work, please visit http://ngikorea.org/eng for more information.

Save North Korean Refugees Day 2018

Where in the world will you be this MONDAY?

Save North Korean Refugees Day is Monday, September 24th

Rescue those being led away to death

There is still time to join the North Korea Freedom Coalition’s Save North Korean Refugees Day being held worldwide this Monday, September 24, 2018 to focus attention on the ongoing critical crisis facing North Korean Refugees in China.  Monday marks the 36th anniversary of when China became a signatory to the refugee convention, the agreement it is violating when it forces men, women and children back to North Korea against their will to face certain torture, certain imprisonment and even execution.

Action You Can Take

The NKFC is simply asking its partners and friends around the world to deliver a letter on Monday September 24th to the Chinese embassy or consulate in their city appealing to Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop repatriating refugees.  A template letter is available for use OR coordinators can prepare their own letter of appeal from their respective NGO.

In addition to letters being delivered for Xi, some cities are also planning special events from conferences (Pretoria) to protests (Los Angeles and Seoul and Toyko) from candlelight vigils (Washington DC) to movie screenings (Traverse City)– all focused to raise awareness of the situation facing innocent men, women and children who are fleeing persecution and deprivation in North Korea.

Please do not be silent for those being led away to death.  If you can deliver a letter or simply join current efforts underway, please email me at [email protected]defenseforumfoundation.org.

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Stephen Biegun Appointmented Special Representative for North Korea

Remarks
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
August 23, 2018

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. I’m excited to announce this morning that Steve Biegun is joining our team as the special representative for North Korea.Steve will direct U.S. policy towards North Korea and lead our efforts to achieve President Trump’s goal of the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong-un.

A Death Threat from North Korea and 18 “Letters from Heaven” from South Korea

Translation:

By Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate

For over twenty years now, I have had the great honor of working for the freedom and human rights of the North Korean people.  As a result of this work, it is not unusual for the North Korean regime to attack me on their propaganda website, Uriminzokkiri.  Because I believe that North Koreans are deserving of the same freedom and human rights as South Koreans and Americans, the Kim Jong Un regime has labeled me “a female monkey”, a “dirty miser”, “an ugly political swindler”,  “a witch” and other unprintable words.  They even depicted me as a kangaroo in a cartoon attacking the annual North Korea Freedom Week when we first hosted it in Seoul.

But in July something happened that went way beyond these typical slurs and attacks.  I got this message directly in my email: “To Suzanne Scholte, This is your destiny.  You will DIE!! We see you everywhere.  We will Kill You.  Go home, and Wait Die.”  The threat was accompanied by a horrific real photo of a badly mutilated woman’s head.  The message and the photo haunted me for a day or two, and I was very ashamed about it and did not want anyone to even know about it.  It is something truly rattling to have someone hate you so much to have taken the time to have sent that message and to have taken the energy to search for the most horrific photo to accompany the death threat.  I did not want anyone to see the message or the photo for fear they would think of it when they thought of me.

Since the death threat was sent on the same day as other death threats against North Korean defectors, I knew it was from someone acting on behalf of the North Korean regime.  And it pained me that someone who does not even know me, could hate me so much simply because I wanted them to be free. I then finally realized how I should respond to this death threat: I prayed to God for this person and I now long for the day when I can meet them in person and tell them how much I love and care about them and that is why I do this work.  It is only because they are blocked from the truth by their regime that they could send such a message.

Then, something else happened about a week later: eighteen postcards arrived from South Korea.  The death threat from North Korea came on July 7th, but on June 29th, someone in South Korea, who also I do not know, arranged for 18 South Korean young people to send these postcards- all handwritten with illustrations from students in South Korea .  All were mailed from Korea on June 29, 2018 from “GY. DEOKYANG” and each of them had the same return address: “South Korea, A letter from Heaven” and the same message ” I love Scholte” and then different notes of encouragement with illustrations, Bible verses, etc. on the reverse side.

One wrote: “The reason I wrote this letter is to give you strength”; another wrote: “Jesus will give you strength All the Time”. Almost all wrote: “Thank you for helping the people of North Korea.”

And I realized that at the same time when someone in North Korea was looking for that horrible photo to send me and preparing a death threat, God was prompting someone in South Korea to encourage these students to send these powerful messages of love and support and prayers for freedom for North Korea and wisdom and strength for me.

It was truly awesome because I do not have any idea who is the North Korean who sent the death threat or who are the South Koreans who sent the postcards?  The reason why I decided to write this OPED is because I hope this message will reach them all.  These young South Koreans need to know how much their messages meant to me and how the timing was so important.  And they all need to know I have the same message for both: I love you, North Koreans and South Koreans.

I choose to stand on the messages in those 18 beautiful “Letters from Heaven” and I hope that one day I can thank the South Koreans in person who sent them, and one day soon I also hope to meet and hug that North Korean who sent a different kind of message, so they will know how much I care about them.

This article was originally published by Munhwa Daily.

Why Get Involved?

An estimated 3 million North Koreans have perished under North Korea’s brutal dictatorial regime since the mid-1990s. Families continue to starve to death as the North Korean government withholds food rations to entire regions of the nation. The government arbitrarily detains, tortures, and executes its citizens, including children, in a large network of prison/labor camps. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have fled to China to survive, however they live in fear of forced repatriation, imprisonment, and possible execution after repatriation. Children whose parents have died or been separated from them wander the streets in search of food and protection. We must act now to bring relief!…

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