What feels like three weeks ago, I started Monday morning by waking up at 3:30 a.m., then thanks to my aunt Cassie and uncle Winston driving me to the train station at 4:30 a.m., I headed to D.C. for a busy day.
The main item on my agenda was joining North Korean Freedom Week organized by the North Korean Freedom Coalition, led by Suzanne Scholte. I spoke at a rally back in 2013 and have attended NKFW several times in both Seoul and Washington, D.C.
I spent about six hours with the North Korean Freedom Week delegation on Monday. The big event was the forum “Women and Market Mechanisms in North Korea” held at CSIS. I wasn’t on the panel so I was able to take it easy, chit-chat with people afterwards, then take photos with people.
The most wonderful moment was when a North Korean refugee recognized me, then made it clear in Korean and with body language that she wants to join TNKR’s English tutoring project. She was the first of a few NK refugees who approached me to let me know much they respect TNKR and hope to join us.
People often ask how TNKR finds refugees. I often respond: “We don’t find them. They find us.” And that happened yesterday when a refugee sought me out at an event at which I was not even a speaker.