2015-06-18 “North Korean Voices”


In recognition of International Refugee Day, the U of A and Edmonton chapters of Amnesty International are teaming up with the Teach North Korean Refugees Project (TNKR) and Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) to bring you a one-of-a-kind event that will give you a direct window into the human rights abuses in North Korea from people who’ve lived there, as well as sharing the hope they have for their lives now that they’re free.

Two North Korean refugees will be speaking (via Skype from Seoul) about their experiences escaping North Korea and transitioning into a life of freedom, as well as several other speakers discussing the political situation in North Korea and their work helping North Korean refugees.

Our speakers will be:

• Sharon Jang, a 24-year-old North Korean student who fled North Korea in 2011. Sharon travelled for two months, covering 2300 miles through China and Laos, in order to reach safety at the South Korean embassy in Thailand. She had previously worked 15-hour days in a coal mine only miles away from the Hoeryong concentration camp (also known as Camp 22).

• Ken, who served for 10 years in the North Korean military, before escaping the country in 2010.

• Casey Lartigue, Jr., co-founder and co-director of the Teach North Korean Refugees Project, which provides North Korean refugees with English-learning opportunities and helps them determine their place in society, free of charge. Casey will be joining us over Skype from Seoul with Sharon and Ken.

• Dr. Kyungsook Kim, Korean Program and Language Coordinator for the U of A Department of East Asian Studies

• Esther Park and Dani Lichota, regional managers for Liberty in North Korea, a US-based organization that works to rescue North Korean refugees who are hiding in Asia and resettle them in South Korea. Esther and Dani are in charge of LiNK’s Nomad program, which has representatives travel around the US educating about North Korean human rights. Esther and Dani will be speaking via Skype from Los Angeles.

After the speakers, there will be time for a Q&A with the audience.

The event will be in the Natural Resources Engineering Facility (NREF) room 1-001 on the U of A campus (right next to ETLC).

In the interest of keeping things affordable, tickets will be $5 at the door for the general public, and free for students with student ID. All proceeds will be donated to the Teach North Koreans Refugees project in order to fund their programs and help North Korean refugees learn English and get accustomed to life in South Korea. Any additional donations to the TNKR program will also be accepted at the door and are greatly appreciated. Founded in 2013, it’s a young and growing program, so we’re trying to promote them and get them all the support we can.

As well, all proceeds from both ticket sales and donations will be matched by the Atlas Network!

Please invite your friends!

More information:

The Teach North Korean Refugees project: http://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/

Liberty in North Korea: http://www.libertyinnorthkorea.org/

Amnesty International Canada: http://www.amnesty.ca/

Amnesty International’s North Korea resource: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/north-korea/

University of Alberta Department of East Asian Studies: http://www.eastasianstudies.ualberta.ca/