TNKR doesn’t have anyone paid to reach out to media, but we have a lot of media tracking us down. Our good work is what attracts attention.

Yesterday and the day before:

  • A German newspaper has quoted TNKR co-founders, Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee in an article about North Korean refugees adjusting to South Korea. The article is behind a paywall, so if you 1) can’t or don’t to pay and 2) can’t read German even if you did so, rest assured that we said some really profound things.

TNKR is not mentioned, but I would like to point out that five of the North Korean refugees pictured in the New York Times are current or former students in our program. We treat all of the refugees who come to us as students with no special treatment for anyone, we will equally remind or admonish any of them slacking off or not respecting our program, so it is easy to forget the star power that we attract to TNKR. They can study without us individually calling attention to them. And you can see TNKR’s co-founders on the “On My Way to Meet You” show back in April 2017, with two of our students on the show with us.

And then there is Hwang In-Cheol, TNKR Senior Fellow in Human Dignity! For almost two decades, he has been told to give up the search for his father. Against the odds of North Korea ever cooperating, against the counsel of others, against and dealing with personal financial loss, and against numerous other challenges, he has stubbornly persevered.

Hwang In-Cheol at C-SPAN profile page, Hudson Institute forum on abductions (full video at C-SPAN and the Hudson Institute (Transcript, Mr. Hwang’s comments plus a mention of TNKR start on page 8).

Incredibly, his case was mentioned twice during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. Mr. Hwang wrote the following on his Facebook yesterday (as translated by Youngmin Kwon, project manager of the Bring My Father Home campaign).

Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever seen a UPR session where a victim’s name is mentioned?
It is very rare for them to specifically mention a victim’s name!

Today, during North Korea’s 3rd UPR session, the representative of Iceland specifically mentioned “Hwang Won,” the name of my father!!!
Also, the representative of Uruguay called on North Korea to resolve the Korean Airlines (KAL) hijacking case!!

Would South Korea take note of the international community’s demand, and call on the North Korean authorities reunite our families as a first step toward peace?

I do not know of any complex theories!
However, I deplore the reality where my abducted father cannot come home even though he wants to, which is so heartbreaking!

My father can be repatriated if only our government would demand his repatriation. But the Moon Jae-in government refuses to say a word of it. I don’t know for whom he is speaking of peace!

Pursuant to international principles and procedures, the South Korean government MUST call on the North Korean authorities to repatriate my father!!!

Amnesty Petition