Those of us involved in the North Korea human rights movement can definitely sympathize with the comments that President Obama has made about not having the luxury of dealing with one crisis at a time but being confronted with many crises at once. As the world watches North Korea prepare for their missile launch, let's remember that when it comes to North Korea, the most important issue is the human rights conditions and the terrible multiple tragedies facing the North Korean people.
Please remember that today, over 200,000 men, women and children continue to suffer in North Korea's gulag where over 400,000 have already been killed; people are continuing to starve adding to the 3 million lives already lost from famine; North Korean females are being victimized by traffickers in China; refugees
forced back to North Korea by China's cruel repatriation policy will be beaten and tortured and even executed; three hundred aging South Korean POWs who gave their youth to make South Korea free will wonder if they will continue to be abandoned and forgotten; hundreds of abductees from South Korea, Japan and nine other nations will wonder if they will ever see their families again; and two young, brave American women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, languish in a prison in Pyongyang wondering if they will meet the same fate as abducted American resident Kim Dong Shik who was tortured and starved to death in Pyongyang for helping the North Korean people.
This is a most critical time for the North Korea human rights movement: we either advance these issues now with the opportunity that comes from a new administration and a new Congress or we see another decade of death and despair for those whose great misfortune was to be born under the Kim Jong Il dictatorship to become the world's most persecuted and isolated people as well as for those who have been abducted by this regime.
This North Korea Freedom Week we do not have the luxury of addressing one of these ongoing tragedies, so we intend to address all of them. We have more events, and more organizations and defectors participating this year than in any previous North Korea Freedom Week.
We have confirmed the participation of thirty defectors from North Korea who will join us for our April 28 North Korea Freedom Day rally as we stand together to promote the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people.
We need your help on the following items:
NKFW 09 Flyers and Posters -- Please print out the attached flyers to help us spread the word about the two main public events that week -- the Capitol Hill Rally at noon April 28 and the demonstration at the Chinese embassy at noon on May 2. Silence is Death won the poster contest, and we have large posters available to be placed in public sites. Please email Henry Song at * if you have a place for posting the NKFW 09 official poster.
Register to Visit your Senators and Congressmen in support of North Korea Human Rights: Please take the time after the April 28 rally to visit your own lawmakers, please register here at *
Shepherds Needed for Capitol Hill Visits: Those of you who know your way around Capitol Hill and would like to be a "shepherd" for these visits to accompany folks wishing to visit their lawmakers, please let Lindsay Vessey know if you help at *
If you live in the DC area and can open your home to folks coming for NKFW OR
if you are coming for NKFW and need housing, please let Jane Yang know at
Financial Help: If you cannot physically be present for North Korea Freedom Week, please consider being a sponsor of the week's events by sending a tax-deductible contribution to: NKFC, c/o Jubilee Campaign, 9689 Main Street, Suite C, Fairfax, Virginia 22031 or donate online here https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=521645262
Below is the latest schedule for North Korea Freedom Week 2009.
Acta Non Verba,
North Korea Freedom Week April 26-May 2, 2009
(schedule as of April 4 -- more details and RSVP event information will be forthcoming)
Sunday, April 26
6 pm Candlelight Vigil to remember and pray for all repatriated North Koreans who have been beaten to death and publicly executed in North Korea because of China's repatriation policy
location: International Calvary Church, 5700 Hanover Avenue, Springfield, Virginia
7 pm Prayer Service for North Korea and for the visiting North Korea defector delegation
location: International Calvary Church, 5700 Hanover Avenue, Springfield, Virginia
Monday, April 27
All Day: North Korea Genocide Exhibit will be on display at Columbus Circle across from Union Station
AFT: Special Capitol Hill Screening of Crossing especially for Congressional staff, but open to public
2-4 pm Department of State: DRL North Korea Funding Information Session As the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor continues to dedicate more resources to the promotion of human rights and democracy in North Korea, DRL will host this special informational session to offer an information session to introduce potential partner organizations to the DRL solicitation process including how grant proposals are evaluated and monitored.
host: Department of State DRL Bureau
To Participate: email *by April 10 with full name, date of birth, country of citizenship and passport or driver's license number.
Tuesday, April 28 Rally Date and Anniversary of the First North Korea Freedom Day
All Day: North Korea Genocide Exhibit will be on display West Front of US Capitol
10 am Demonstration by the Democracy Network Against the North Korean Gulag at the Raoul Wallenberg Place across from the Holocaust Museum
Capitol Hill Rally for North Korea Freedom and Human Rights
West Front of the US Capitol
11 am Music Starts with the Pyongyang Musical Mission Troupe and our own Jeff Park and the Seoul Presbyterian Church Praise Band
12 noon Program with Confirmed speakers (so far): South Korean Human Rights Ambassador Jhe Seong Ho, Senator Sam Brownback, Congressman Ed Royce, NED President Carl Gershman, Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor, Amnesty International Asia Advocacy Director T. Kumar, Dr. Hyunuk Kim, President of the International Forum for Foreign Policy and National Security, Kim Seung Min Director of Free North Korea Radio, representatives from the Japanese Rescue Movement and all North Korean defector organizations...
Afternoon: Rally participants will visit their Senators and Congressmen
3-5 pm Panel Session on North Korea human rights sponsored by the Korea Economic Institute
host: Ambassador Jack Pritchard and the Korea Economic Institute
location: 1800 K Street, N.W., Suite 1010, Washington DC, 20006
Wednesday, April 29
10 AM Panel Session Focusing on Survey of North Korean Refugees
host: Marcus Noland and the Peterson Institute
location: C. Fred Bergsten Conference Center, 1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
6pm Special Screening of KIMJONGILIA which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival with the film's director and producer N.C. Heikin. KIMJONGILIA is the first film documentary to expose the horrible human rights abuses by Kim Jong-il through defector's stories, North Korea's propaganda and original performance.
host and sponsor: Congressman Trent Franks and Tina Ramirez
location: Capitol Visitors Center - North Theatre
RSVP Required (limited seating): RSVP at *
Thursday, April 30
10 AM Congressional briefing on Humanitarian Situation and What Can Be Done to Help the North Korean People
host: Congressional Human Rights Commission
1-4 PM exact time to be finalized Panel Session hosted by the Heritage Foundation on North Korean Human Rights: Recommendations for President Obama and the U.S. Congress
confirmed speakers: NED President Carl Gershman, Joel Charney of Refugees International, Jared Genser of Freedom Now
host: Bruce Klingner and the Heritage Foundation
location: Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
PSCORE (People for Successful Corean Reunification) Special Event
confirmed speakers include: Ana Jang, former New York Times reporter Laura E. Pohl, PSCORE founder Kim Young-il, and Han Young Jin
Host: Ana Jang and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, GPPI IPD Track, GU Korean Student Society, PS CORE
Location: Student Lounge at Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Friday, May 1
12 noon Capitol Hill Forum in honor of North Korean Defectors hosted by the Defense Forum Foundation
Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill
host: Defense Forum Foundation
location: B-339 Rayburn
RSVP required (limited seating): *
Saturday, May 2
12 noon Protest at the new Chinese embassy against the PRC's violent treatment of North Korean refugees
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, DC -- note this is a new embassy address!!