North Korean Escapees:
Current Situation and What Must Be Done

You are cordially invited to join the Defense Forum Foundation’s Congressional Defense and Foreign Policy Forum online as we host three brave and inspiring women who escaped from North Korea.  Two of the witnesses are recent escapees who will be visiting the United States to share their stories for the first time.


LEE Haeun: survivor of 50 days of torture and detention for making phone calls to South Korea. After her husband was sent to a political prison camp for listening to South Korea broadcasts, she and her daughter escaped from North Korea in 2019 in one of the last groups to escape before the border shut down. 

JI Hannah: survivor of North Korea’s political prison camps and China’s detention centers, Ji was an entrepreneur who lost everything during the infamous currency devaluation.  She successfully defected in 2015 and then saved up enough money to risk her own life to go back to China to save her two sons in 2019.

HAN Song-Mi: escaped from North Korea in 2011 when her mother raised enough money to pay brokers to get her out of South Korea.  The trauma of her life led her to remain silent for a decade but now she is speaking out and has published her memoir co-written with Casey Lartigue of Freedom Speakers International: Greenlight to Freedom: A North Korean Daughter’s Search for Her Mother and Herself.

 *DFF’s Defense and Foreign Policy Forums were established in 1983 to provide Congressional staff the opportunity to hear from expert speakers in a nonpartisan, collegial atmosphere on important issues facing the United States and her allies.