2015-02-17 Turn DC into a sea of fire, please (CSIS conference)

Item #1: It is snowing in Washington, DC, the city government is closed, the streets are covered with snow.
Item #2: The Center for Strategic and International Studies is holding a day-long conference: “North Korean Human Rights: The Road Ahead.”
Item #3: The North Korean government threatened to respond “very strongly” if the conference gets held. (Yes, it has started).

Conclusion: Yes, please, North Korean government, turn D.C. into a sea of fire. So cold, so much snow here…

I am now at the conference, bumping into many friends and colleagues. Even one of the Teach North Korean Refugee students is here. She looked so happy, it was wonderful to see her.

This kind of conference reminds me why I don’t have to worry about North Korea targeting me. There are so many more prominent people. But I guess I should worry when so many of North Korea’s enemies are gathered together like this….

More updates later, as long as the DPRK doesn’t “very strongly” bomb the building and destroy my Wi-fi connection…

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with Blaine Harden, author of Camp 14. Not only did he recall that I moderated a session with him and Shin Dong-hyuk in 2013, but he praised my organization Teach North Korean Refugees and said he follows our activities on Facebook.

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With Judge Michael Kirby, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2013-14).

 

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Lindsay Lloyd, Program Director, Freedom Collection, George W. Bush Institute.

 

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with Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy since its 1984 founding.
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with Jung-Hoon Lee, Ambassador for Human Rights, Republic of Korea, and Director, Yonsei Center for Human Liberty
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Her name slips me at the moment, but she does work in Japan  about abductees.

 

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이순실, a North Korean refugee who is honorary ambassador of the organization “World Peace, gave a fiery and passionate attack on North Korea’s human rights record.

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with Shaq and Victor Cha.

 

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with Roberta Cohen of the Brookings Institution. When I was starting to introduce myself, she politely cut me off to let me know that she knows who I am and appreciates my work helping North Korean refugees.
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I enjoyed meeting many people today, but the highlight was talking with Melanie Kirkpatrick. I recently read her book “Escape from North Korea,” it is one of the best I have read in a while.