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North Korea often appears in the headlines for its militarism and current push to become a global nuclear power. Yet, the legacy of routine human rights abuses connected to the government of Kim Jong II rarely makes news.
North Koreans live in one of the most politically oppressive and economically depressed societies on the globe, according to international human rights groups. Not surprisingly, many of its citizens seek asylum in foreign nations. It is said that some are captured and entered into a torturous repatriation process. Some are believed executed. Some, putting their lives on the line, enter the U.S. illegally seeking refuge and a new life.
On this edition, we hear the stories of two North Koreans who crossed border after border, eventually making their way into the U.S.
Yong Kim, North Korean escapee and Chairman of the North Korean Refugees Association in the U.S.; Park Kum-Nyo, North Korean escapee and restaurant worker; Colonel Kim Bong Keon, retired Korean army officer and President of the Coalition of Korean-American Patriotic Organizations in the U.S.A.; Yohngsohk Choe, Chairman of the External Affairs Coordinating Committee, Coalition of Korean-American Patriotic Organizations in the U.S.A., and translator for Yong Kim.
Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Making Contact Intern Producer: Alina Potts
Mixing Engineer: Stephanie Welch
For more information:
North Korean Refugees Association in the U.S. – Los Angeles, CA
Coalition of Korean-American Patriotic Organizations in the U.S.A. – Los Angeles, CA
U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea – Washington, DC
North Korea Freedom Coalition – Fairfax, Virgina
Defense Forum Foundation – Virgina
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK)
Human Rights Watch-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – New York, NY
Seoul Train – Vail, CO
Documentary on the plight of North Koreans (including Yong Kim) as they try to escape into China