Since coming to power in 2011, Kim Jong Un has ruled by fear, executing approximately 130 Korean Workers Party officials, including many considered to be a part of his inner, elite circle. The North Korean government reveals almost no information about the details of these executions, leaving us only able to speculate. Despite the sharp increase in political executions and recent high-level defections, why do we still not see significant rupture in the political system in North Korea? What is holding the system together, and how can a deeper understanding of the political purges inform strategies to improve living conditions for ordinary citizens in North Korea?
Please join YPFP on Thursday, October 13 from 6:30pm-7:45pm at the Milano School of International Affairs for the rare opportunity to hear a discussion led by Seoul-based Mr. Kang Cheol Hwan, writer for the Chosun Ilbo, founder of the North Korea Strategy Center, prominent activist for North Korean human rights, and survivor of a North Korean political prison camp. Q&A and light networking reception to follow.
This event is open to YPFP members, Milano School graduate students, friends of North Korea Strategy Center, and friends of YPFP. Please RSVP via this form. All RSVPs must be received by Wednesday, October 12 at 5 p.m.
Mr. Kang Cheol Hwan was born in 1968 in Pyongyang, North Korea. At age 9, Mr. Kang was sent along with his family to Yodok Concentration Camp after his grandfather was accused of treason. He spent 10 years in the prison camp, suffering brutal conditions, starvation and hard labor. After being released, Mr. Kang eventually escaped North Korea, crossing into China in 1992 and eventually reaching South Korea. In 2000, he published the autobiographical “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”, the very first survivor’s account of North Korea’s concentration camps. In 2003, he was awarded the National Endowment of Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and in 2006, he was selected as one of Time Magazine’s “Asian Heroes”. In 2007, Mr. Kang established NKSC in Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Kang is a contributing author to the Chosun Ilbo on North Korean issues.
North Korea Strategy Center is a defector-led NGO that was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2007 to raise awareness about North Korea's human rights conditions, and advocate for freedom and unification in Korea. To learn more and donate visit: http://nksc.us.
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