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”
North Korea Freedom Week is happening now! Please find the latest videos below:
Our YouTube Hosts
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.Continue reading “17th Annual North Korea Freedom Week 2020”
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,
SuzanneContinue reading “Action items for North Korea’s Freedom and Human Rights and A Word about the South Korea’s Elections”
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,
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.
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,
Organized by the North Korea Freedom Coalition In Solidarity with the Hong Kong Freedom Fighters Activists Worldwide Call on Xi Jinping: Stop Repatriating North Koreans
Thank you to all of you who took part in the annual Save North Korean Refugees Day to appeal to Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to stop his brutal, inhuman and illegal treatment of North Korean men, women and children. It is an indisputable that North Koreans forced back to North Korea by China’s policy suffer torture, imprisonment, and even execution. We are so thankful to the folks highlighted in this report who would not remain silent but took time to participate in Save North Korea Refugees Day.
A few observations for this year: the PRC was very well aware of our efforts. There was a reported increase of Chinese security presence. It appears that at many embassies the Chinese hired additional private security which may have resulted with our plans to show solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters and sing the song Sing Hallelujah to the Lord. NKFC members in Pretoria reported that they were specifically told they could not sing! NKFC members in Washington, D.C. were also met for the first time by a security guard who prevented them from approaching the embassy to deliver the petition –but they preceded with the vigil and sang anyway. The most heavily reported push back was in Malawi where NKFC members reported that they were prevented from taking a photo or recording their demonstration, but they did succeed in delivering the petition and singing in solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters.
Second, the commitment to be a voice for the North Korean refugees was very strong and NKFC members in Puerto Rico were so determined to deliver their appeals before tropical storm Karen hit their island, they sent their appeals the night before. They wanted to be sure the PRC consulate got their appeals before they lost electricity which did happen as a result of the storm.
Third, there were many NKFC members praying for all of us – we got a lot of emails from people who felt called to set aside time to pray and fast for North Korean refugees and for what we were doing that day of September 24th. We have included some examples in this report.
And finally, now a confession: the horrific treatment of North Korean refugees is worse than ever before, and I sometimes wonder do these events really matter? Are we making a difference?
Then, I remember two female defectors who had been victims of trafficking and a humanitarian worker who had been in jail in China. All three shared with me that they had thought about suicide, but they heard about these protests against China and they knew: I am not forgotten and it gave them the will to survive. NKFC Vice Chairman Rabbi Cooper once told me that we had to keep doing these protests. We must continue to speak out because silence is acquiescence. We know that silence is death for North Koreans. So, here’s a report from your colleagues and friends from around the world who would not remain silent.
Acta Non Verba,
Continue reading “Save North Korean Refugees Day 2019 Report”
Chair, North Korea Freedom Coalition