Tuesday, May 6, 2008

U.S. Tour of North Korean Defector

Press Release from LiNK:


Washington, DC
– LiNK will be hosting North Korean defector Dong-hyuk SHIN on a speaking tour entitled, "Born and Raised in a Concentration Camp," from Wednesday, April 30 to Wednesday, May 14. Shin will recount his experiences as a North Korean who was born into slavery as a political prisoner in a North Korean concentration camp. After some relatives defected, Shin's father, grandparents, and uncle were deemed treasonous and sent to separate camps. His father was sent to Political Prison Camp No. 14 in Kaechon, South Pyongan province, which houses approximately 60,000 inmates and is about 50 miles north of Pyongyang. For good behavior, he was permitted to marry a fellow inmate.

Dong-hyuk SHIN was born on Nov. 19, 1982 and called the camp home until 2005. While at the camp, Shin endured daily beatings, torture, starvation-level rations, saw forced abortions and even witnessed the public execution of his mother and brother in 1996. Shin described his life of total isolation from the world: "In South Korea, although there is disappointment and sadness, there is also so much joy, happiness and comfort. In Kaechon, I did not even know such emotions existed. The only emotion I ever knew was fear: fear of beatings, fear of starvation, fear of torture and fear of death."

The speaking tour will be held in Washington, DC (4/30-5/5); New York City (5/6-5/8); Chicago (5/9-5/10); San Francisco (5/11-5/13); Los Angeles (5/13); and Irvine, California (5/14). For more details, please visit: http://www.libertyinnorthkorea.blogspot.com/

LiNK's Executive Director Adrian Hong and Deputy Director Hannah Song will accompany Shin on the tour and will be speaking about the broader issue of human rights in North Korea, as well as the current refugee situation and LiNK's resettlement activities. Liberty in North Korea, or LiNK, is an international non-governmental organization devoted to human rights in North Korea and the protection of North Korean refugees.

So Christine and I are helping LiNK with this tour. Christine set up the Tech Talk for LiNK and Dong-hyuk Shin at Google, and we're helping Michael and Sunny Yang who are hosting a private event at their home in Los Altos Hills on May 13th. If you're in the Bay Area and interested in attending, just email me at bernard.moon[at]gmail.com. Also here is the rest of the tour's schedule.

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