April 28 Opening day of North Korea Freedom Week and International Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Freedom of North Korea: Day of prayer and fasting was led by Rev. Thomas J. Belke (Capt., USN, ret), author, JUCHE; Rev. Bob Fox, Abundant Life Fellowship, author, Healing America’s DNA; Dr. Suzanne Scholte, Chair, North Korea Freedom Week, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. Ok Cha Soh, President, Korea-U.S. National Prayer Breakfast; Jeff King, President, International Christian Concern; Pastor Wally, Founder and President, Christians In Crisis; Rev. Paul Hwang, Former President and Senior Advisor, UPCA, General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in America; Rev. Young Hee Lee, President, UPCA, General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in America; Atabongwoung Gallous, Africa Solidarity For Sahrawi, and Michelle Kim, PSALT; and Alana Johnson of the Falls Church Anglican who also prepared special prayers for North Korea. Alana wrote: May our united prayers and praises serve to bring about the theme reality of NK Freedom Week, “The truth will set them free.” A special website was created by Roxann Moss so people around the world could sign up to participate in the opening day of North Korea Freedom Week through praying and fasting for North Korea’s freedom. The website can be visited at https://www.april28.org/
Opening Ceremony at the National Assembly Main Conference Room, organized by NKFW Organizing Committee. Special cooperation at the Assembly by Congressman Kim Seong-tae, Congressman Hahm Jin-kyu, Congressman Kim Yong-tae, and Congressman Kim Jin-tae. Remarks by Congressman Kim Young-woo, Congressman Kim Yong-Tae, Congressman Kim Jin-tae, Lawyer Kim Tae-hoon, Professor Nishioka Tsutomu, Former DPRK Ambassador to NK Thae Young-ho, and NKFC President Suzanne Scholte. A video of special remarks was also sent by US Congressman Ed Royce of California.
Hope for Unification Prayer Vigil at Hansarang Church, organized by Hope for Unification Prayer Vigil Organizing Committee (Chaired by Pastor Kang Chul-ho) in cooperation with the Christian Council of North Korea, Free North Korea Radio, Korean Committee for Supporting Resettlement of North Korean Christian Defectors, Esther Prayer Movement, North Korean Refugee Independence Support Center, Hope for Unification Mission, Jubilee National Prayer Movement for Unification and 33 North Korean defector churches. It was the largest gathering of North Korean defectors to pray for North Korea that has ever been held. Seventeen hundred people participated including fourteen hundred defectors.
Opening Service and Seoul Declaration for Human Rights of North Korea at Saetu Church, organized by NKFW Organizing Committee and Saetu Church.
New Korea Gathering Opening Service at Paju Osanli Prayer Center Bethel Hall, organized by Youth with a Mission (YWAM) KONA – Northeast Asia DTS. Special remarks by Suzanne Scholte, sermon by Paul Childers (Director YWAM Kona base) and Loren Cunningham (Founder of YWAM)
Wreath Laying Ceremony at War Memorial, organized by NKFW Organizing Committee and North Korean People’s Liberation Front
Press Conference on Information Inflow to North Korea at Press Center. Organized by NKPLF (Choi Jeong-hun), NK Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea (Kim Yon-hwa), Keunsaem Education Center (Park Jung-oh), No Chain (Jung Kwang-il) and Gyereol United (Jang Se-yul).
Visit to Free North Korea Radio at Free North Korea Radio. Organized by Free North Korea Radio
Meeting with Korea Liberty Party Representative Hong Jun-Pyo at Korea Liberty Party.
Unification Plaza Prayer Vigil at Seoul Station Plaza, organized by Esther Prayer Movement. Special message from Suzanne Scholte, former Governor of Gyunggi Province Kim Moon-su, Pastor Peter Jung, Pastor Choi Sang-il and Professor Lee Yong-hee
Rice Bottle Launch at Kanghwa Island, organized by NK Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea (Kim Yon-hwa), Keunsaem Education Center (Park Jung-oh), No Chain (Jung Kwang-il)
Meeting with Defector Students at Keumsaem Education Center, organized by Keumsaem Education Center (Park Jung-oh, Kwon Ryu-yeon)
Press Conference on ROK-DPRK, US-DPRK Summit presenting the letter for US President Trump at Press Center. Remarks from Kim Tae-hee (Coalition of North Korean Refugees for Freedom and Human Rights), Kim Heung-kwang (NK Intellectuals’ Solidarity), Park Sang-hak (Fighters for Free North Korea), Choi Jeong-hun (NKPLF), Huh Kwang-il (Committee for Democratization of North Korea), Kawasaki Eiko (Korea of All), Choi Ju-hwal (North Korean Defector Comradery)
Press Conference on North Korean Refugees Detained in China at Press Center, organized by Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea and Lawyer Kim Tae-hoon. Four North Korean defectors whose family members are detained at a detention center in China called for the Chinese government to stop repatriation and for the South Korean government to negotiate with China to allow these 17 detainees, who were held over two years, to be released.
Protest at Chinese Embassy to Stop Repatriation of North Korean Refugees and delivery of the petition to release all detained North Korean refugees at Chinese Embassy, organized by Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea and Lawyer Kim Tae-hoon.
Press Conference to Commemorate North Korean Freedom Patriots at Keumgang Pension, Kanghwa Island, organized by Gyereol United. NKFW participants paid tribute to the North Korean martyrs – those men and women who have sacrificed their lives getting information out of North Korea.
International PEN Conference – North Korean Women: Their Stories in Literature at Press Center, organized by International PEN North Korea Exile Center. Featured the writers of International PEN North Korea Exile Center, Park Joo-hee, Kim Jeong-keum, Kim Jeong-hwa, Kim Kyung-ae, and Lee Kyung-ok. Remarks by Suzanne Scholte, Lee Gil-won, Advisor of International PEN North Korea Exile Center, and Kim Seong-min, Free North Korea Radio. The session was moderated by Dr. Lee Ae Ran, the first North Korea defector to earn a PhD.
Briefing on Alternative Schools for North Korean Defector Children at Press Center, organized by Keumsaem Education center, Seong Vision Alternative School, Gyejeol School for North Korean defector students. Dr. Lee Ae Ran also moderated this session which included lively discussion from the audience.
Balloon Launch at Odusan Unification Observatory Parking Lot, organized by Fighters for Free North Korea.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted to congratulate NKFW 2018:
“On this North Korea Freedom Week, I remember the moving meeting w/ defectors who fled the oppressive regime in search of a better life and my time with Otto Warmbier’s amazing family. We are working hard on denuclearization and peace. It would be great for America and the world!”
US Department of State’s statement on NKFW 2018:
“On the Occasion of North Korea Freedom Week”
Press Statement by Heather Nauert
Washington, DC May 2, 2018
On the occasion of North Korea Freedom Week, we must not forget the millions of North Koreans who continue to suffer under one of the most repressive and abusive governments in the world. For more than 60 years the people of North Korea have faced egregious human rights violations in virtually every aspect of life. In addition to the roughly 100,000 individuals, including children and family members of the accused, who suffer in political prison camps, North Koreans face an almost complete denial of fundamental freedoms by their government. Those trying to flee this oppressive environment, if caught, are often tortured or killed.
We remain gravely concerned and deeply troubled by these abuses. In tandem with the maximum pressure campaign, we will continue to press for accountability for those responsible. We are also going to continue our efforts to increase the flow of independent information into, out of, and within this isolated state to present everyday North Koreans with a more realistic picture of the outside world.”
Interviews on Television and in Newspapers During North Korea Freedom Week 2018
WORLD Magazine article written by Angela Lu Fulton
Special Thanks to Jason West for Recording and Posting NKFW 2018’s Events