Three orphans being held in a jail in Laos

These three orphans managed to escape from North Korea, make their way through China, and were then arrested by Lao police. Here, they await processing before release to South Korean authorities.

Two foster children play in one of our shelters

These two orphans can finally relax and enjoy being off the streets and receiving an education. Each LFNKR member may sponsor an orphan or abandoned child being cared for in one or another of our shelters, sending financial help, encouragement and support.

A traditonal cherry blossom viewing party

North Korean refugees, now resettled in Japan, get together with LFNKR members to celebrate the coming of cherry blossoms and the first hint of spring in Tokyo.

Tokyo Bar Association Recognizes LFNKR

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees was awarded the Human Rights Prize by the Tokyo Bar Association

Former North Korean refugees wed

A refugee couple, one a former foster child and the other a recent defector from North Korea, have married. They invited Mr Kato and Ms Watanabe of LFNKR to stand in as parents.

13 year-old street child with severe burns

LFNKR, working jointly with a South Korean NGO, helped this kot-jebi (street child) receive urgently needed medical treatment after he lost both feet to the combined effects of frostbite and severe burns.

LFNKR’s 19th ANNUAL MEETING HELD ON OCT. 10, 2016

Annual Meeting Held in Tokyo

A summary of LFNKR activities during fiscal 2015 (Sept. 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016) and the plans for the next fiscal year were outlined at the annual meeting. 

Global Festa Japan 2016

former North Korean defectors, who have now resettled in Japan, talk about their own experiences

Two former North Korean defectors, who have now resettled in Japan, talk about their own experiences

Global Festa Japan 2016 was held at Odaiba in Tokyo on October 1st and 2nd. This annual event was jointly hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and several other Japanese governmental organizations. The major purpose of the festival, an International Cooperation Day, is to promote awareness of the need for the international cooperation and the importance of joint efforts between the governmental and citizen groups, as well as NGOs.  During the two-day event, 269 organizations and groups participated and about 100,000 people visited. 

Kato Pleased with Happily Resettled North Korean Families

 

It’s well worth it

Hiroshi Kato

Hiroshi Kato, the executive director of LFNKR, participated July 3 in the annual exchange party for NK refugees held in Osaka.  Joining the party were about 50 former North Korean defectors who have resettled in the Kansai region (south-western half of Japan, including Osaka).  Attending were three generations, ranging from babies under the age of one up to 70 years-old.

Kato was overwhelmed by their boundless energy.  They sang and danced to Karaoke without a break for three hours straight.  He was very impressed by their extremely good singing … and by their dancing, which surprise him. He saw waltzes and jitterbugging rather than more traditional Korean dances.

From Supported to Supporter

5 Years Later

By K. Matsubara (alias) – Former North Korean Refugee

A Korean proverb says that “mountains and rivers change in 10 years.”  It obviously means that 10 years is a long time and brings big changes.  Then, what changes have my husband and I experienced in the past 5 years since we finally entered Japan?

Actually, we have gone through many, many changes.  For a while after coming to Japan, everything seemed new to us and difficult to get used to.  But now, we can handle most things without asking for help.  Although we have not yet achieved our biggest goal, I feel that we have achieved great growth both spiritually and financially.  And we are now able to help other North Korean people needing assistance.

Price of Freedom Soaring

I Want to See my Daughters as Soon as Possible

By Pak Sung Hee (alias), a Former NK Refugee

I once lived in Chongjin, North Hamgyong.  From the 1990’s (the time of the “Arduous March”) through early 2000 we experienced severe starvation.  I realized that my whole family would starve to death if something didn’t change, so I crossed the Tumen River into China to bring back food.  I bitterly regret, however, that I was never able to make it back to Chongjin where my family was waiting for me.

My father is Japanese, and my mother was an ethnic Korean resident of Japan.  Years earlier my parents had believed the propaganda claiming that North Korea was a Paradise on Earth. So, together, they immigrated to North Korea.

Rescue Mission 613 Successfully Completed

 

Golden Triangle

Famous landmark in Golden Triangle – The Golden Buddha

LFNKR (Life Funds for North Korean Refugees) recently helped the first two of the six North Korean refugees waiting to escape to freedom. These six are the refugees for whom we recently invited donations.

Donate page

And it was your generosity that enabled us to help these two. Thank you so much for your ongoing interest and your continued support, and we invite you to help us help the remaining North Korean refugees on our waiting list.

Rescue mission 613 was initiated at the beginning of June, and although it encountered a few unexpected incidents, everything ended well.  Unfortunately, just before the rescue mission began, the identity of the special “guide” originally selected for the task was disclosed in the media. This, of course, meant the guide’s risk of arrest had become too great, so we hurriedly sent in a different guide. 

North Korean “Inari-Sushi” and the Party to View Cherry Blossoms

By K.K. (a former North Korean refugee)

NEWS100PhotoBack in April, LFNKR had a cherry blossom viewing party.  At this party were members of LFNKR and also some of the former North Korean defectors who have resettled here in Japan.  The following is a brief article we received from one of the North Korean participants.  It was she who prepared and brought the unique spicy North Korean “inari-sushi” (fried bean-curd stuffed with boiled rice).

She writes:

I was born in North Korea, and I was able to come to Japan, thanks to Japanese humanitarian aid. At that time I knew absolutely nothing about the cultures or traditions of any other country. 

From N.K. Refugee to Licensed Nurse in Japan

Near the end of March this year, we at LFNKR got some exciting news. Miss K.H., whom  we have mentioned here before (see links below), had just passed Japan’s very difficult National Nursing Exam, and she was writing to tell us of her experiences:

She says:

Thanks to the support and help that the people around me have extended, I passed the National Nursing Examination!

Former NK Defector Speaks at One World Festival

Refugee Tells Her Story

Koh Jeong Mee talks about tortures she has experienced.

Koh Jeong Mee talks about tortures she has experienced.

On Feb. sixth and seventh LFNKR participated in the One World Festival held in Osaka, Japan to help boost the public’s awareness of the many human rights abuses that continue in North Korea.

At the yearly One World Festival, NGO/NPOs, international institutions, local administration and companies involved in international cooperation gather together to tell about their activities, and to hold symposia and panel discussions on such issues as peace, human rights and the environment.

The following is a brief summary of the report prepared by Mr. K.G., a member of LFNKR. It describes the testimony presented by Ms. Koh Jeong Mee, a former NK defector.

Update on Our Five-Year-Old Orphan

Kimchol-1

Settling in

When the small boy arrived at the orphanage, staff members decided to call him “Kim Chol.”  Chol’s nightmare began back in October of last year. The Chinese police had discovered that his parents were North Korean defectors, so they arrested the two and handed them over to North Korean security officers for repatriation, but the five-year-old was left to fend for himself.  See our earlier report on Chol

Still more proof of outrageous crimes against humanity

North Korea"s latest missile launchFollowing January’s fourth nuclear test, North Korea launched yet another missile on Feb. 7 despite  strong and repeated criticism by the international community.

According to South Korean government estimates, the money spent by the North Korean government on the development of nuclear missiles totals somewhere between 2.8 and 3.2 billion US dollars.  This much money would buy 9,330,000 to 10,660,000 tons of corn, enough to feed every person in North Korea for 31 to 36 months.

Meanwhile, North Korea still depends on food aid from other countries, including Russia and China.

These facts demonstrate the magnitude of the North Korean government’s crimes against humanity.  The government of that country should, by rights, be standing trial before the International Criminal Court.

URGENT APPEAL

On the Human Rights Situation in North Korea

February 6, 2016

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January of this year despite the suffering of its people. Although North Korea claims that it was a hydrogen bomb, questions remain due to the nature of the seismic activity associated with the blast.

The North Korean government announced that the hydrogen bomb test “firmly protects the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of the nation…and reliably safeguards the peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional security” and even now is going ahead with missile launches.

Terror in a Solitary Confinement Cell

The MC's height is 165cm (5.5ft). This illustrates the small size of the cell.

The MC’s height is 165cm (5.5ft). This illustrates the small size of the cell.

LFNKR On Dec. 5, jointly hosted a seminar as one of the events held during the first week of December to help promote public awareness of the North Korean human rights issue. The seminar was titled “Terror of Whistle Blowers in a Solitary Confinement Cell.”  To emphasize what it was really like, LFNKR specially created two full-size punishment cells not just for display but also to give participants the experience of being in the cages.

We invited Mr. Jeong Kwang-il, who has experienced being locked up in one of the punishment cells,  to talk about the confinement and one of the tortures called “pigeon torture.” In the pigeon torture, a person’s hands are tied behind their back and handcuffed so that they can neither stand nor sit.

Jeong Kwang-il explains the "pigeon torture"

Mr. Jeong  explains excruciating postures in the cage

Mr. Jeong Kwang-il is Director of No Chains for North Korea and the Director of Human Rights Investigations for North Korea Watch.  He was confined in Yodok Concentration Camp,  one of North Korea’s most notorious camps.

Read about his experiences in Yodok:

Many North Koreans are tortured and sent to the concentration camps without trial, just as Mr. Jeong was.

 

Happy New Year

141225_191333

Happy New Year

From Hiroshi Kato, Executive Director,
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees

 Wishing all of you health and prosperity in the New Year 

It appears that North Korea has succeeded in establishing a three-generation political dynasty. However, the UN has passed resolutions condemning the North’s human rights abuses, calling them grave, widespread, systematic abuses that amount to crimes against humanity. The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution critical of the DPRK with the support of 119 countries.

5-year-old Boy Enters LFNKR Orphanage

New orphan (Dec. 2015)

Rapidly approaching are the Christmas and New Year holidays – a perfect time for gift-giving. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of donating to a worthy charity. If so, may we suggest a very special group of orphans; abandoned children born to North Korean defectors in China.

The most recent child to come to our orphanage arrived just two months ago. Here is his story.

It was October 4, 2015, a Sunday, when, without announcement or appointment a fiftyish-looking man just showed up at our orphanage in China. With him was a young boy.

LFNKR Annual Meeting, Oct. 12, 2015

Tokyo the Site of 18th Annual Meeting

A report on LFNKR activities during the past year was presented at the Annual Meeting. Perhaps the single most important issue is how the past several years have brought significant changes to the conditions facing North Korean refugees. Part of the change is due to the drastically tightened crackdown along the China-North Korea border. The crackdown is particularly stringent on the North Korea side, making it increasingly difficult to escape from North Korea.

In fact, over the past two years, rescue operations for assisting North Korean defectors in reaching safe third countries have fallen to almost nothing. This is new to our organization. The focus of our activities, therefore, has already begun shifting away from rescue operations, although we still stand ready to assist any NK refugees wherever possible. Now the emphasis is increasingly on helping former defectors resettle in Japan and on generating publicity to help boost public awareness of the human rights abuses in North Korea. This includes the publication of books related to the human rights outrages in that country.

Among those attending the Annual Meeting were four former North Korean defectors, Mr. I.K, Miss K.H, Miss J.L, and Baby Sumi’s mother, who each presented updates on their life in Japan now.

Mr. I.K. and his family were the first North Korean family that LFNKR helped to escape and resettle in Japan (1999). He and his wife are now running a successful business, a thriving guest house, in Osaka.

Refer to previous article: Settling and Surviving in Japan.  

Miss K.H. said that she is studying very hard in preparation for the national nursing qualification exam coming in March.

Refer to previous article: Set a Goal and Tackle it for Best Results:

Miss J.L. is attending a dental hygienist college in Tokyo and also works as a part-time assistant at a dental office. She has had overcome hardships, including being arrested in Laos as she made her way to Japan. However, once in Japan, in barely two years she passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam, Level One. She has surprised us all, speaking almost perfect and fluent Japanese.

And baby Sumi’s mother showed us new pictures of Sumi, now 4 years old, dancing happily at her preschool. In addition to the new business, Sumi’s mother told us, she has also recently started a group to provide mutual aid among North Korean women who have resettled in Japan.

Please see Baby Sumi Celebrates First Birthday.

Or read Former NK Refugee Starts New Business

Listening to the speeches of these courageous people, we were deeply impressed by their great efforts. We are very proud of them and of all of those we have rescued.

Help Us Keep Our Orphans Warm

Orphans studying

Because Donations Have Fallen Off …

One important part of our assistance efforts is the orphanages we support. Winter is upon us now, and the six-month cold season in that region always means heavier expenses.

Some of that increase goes for warm winter clothes, of course, but the bulk is needed for coal to heat the buildings where our orphans live.

Public Eye Turning Away from North Korea’s Abuses

Translated From a Recent Issue of the LFNKR Newsletter

Tragedy Awaits Withdrawal from Activities for Human Rights in North Korea

By Ken Kato — ICNK Affiliate-Director, Human Rights in Asia


 

Milgram’s Experiment

TO~ everyone dedicated to maintaining human rights activities for the North Korean people:

One Volunteer’s Story

Ever wonder who does the behind-the-scenes work in an NGO like ours?

A while back Hiroshi Kato, who heads this organization, posted a call for volunteers – someone to help LFNKR with translation work. Since this NGO is made up almost exclusively of volunteers, and there’s always more to do than time available, we are always delighted to hear from those wanting to help.

One young lady in the US, a “Mrs M,” contacted us offering her assistance. Only thing was, she wasn’t sure her skills were good enough. We sent her a couple of short articles to try, and as it turns out, her skills were excellent. She’s been translating for us ever since.

And then the other day we wondered, would readers be interested in hearing how one volunteer started?

We thought that you, our readers, might indeed be interested, so here it is – Mrs M’s story:

“Blessing House” – Settling and surviving in Japan

First Japanese Entry Permit, First Japanese Guest House Permit

By Igawa Fukuko

After entering Japan, our family faced continuous hardship for one or two years.
Our family escaped from North Korea and were given entry into Japan in 2000 with absolutely no money or skills. We were anxious about what kind of life was waiting for us from here on. In any case, we felt at least secure that we probably would not starve to death.

Kato, participates in “Ask Me Anything” session

Here’s some background information that may give you a richer understanding of the NK refugees.

Reddit

Last year our Executive Director, Hiroshi Kato, participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit. It was his first-ever AMA and he was really impressed with the quality of the questions he received, which ranged from defectors’ life skills to misconceptions about North Korea. We have included the questions and answers he received, edited slightly for readability.

We hope you enjoy reading it, and feel free to add your own questions and comments on Facebook or Twitter!

Update – 3 Ladies Who Defected

 Steady Progress in 3 Careers

Here are three young ladies whom LFNKR has helped resettle in Japan, and updates on their progress as they work toward establishing new careers.

beauticianMs. E has worked a number of different jobs, and eventually she decided to become a beautician.  So, after she gained her Japanese high school diploma via correspondence, she took the entrance exam for a famous beautician’s college in Tokyo, which of course she passed.  She tells us that she is looking forward to learning this new skill. She is confident that by becoming a beautician her expertise will enable her to help those who need encouragement and others who may need their spirits lifted through her skills.

Rescue Requests Growing Again

Fear Spreading Among High Officials

Chang Song-thaek, the once-powerful uncle of Kim Jong-Un and former number two in North Korea’s power structure, was arrested and executed in December 2013.  Since then, power struggles and purges have grown in the country.  According to reports filtering out, the ongoing investigations, purges and executions are often directed toward officials responsible for the earning of foreign currencies. So widespread have these practices become that they are now cutting a swath through mid-level management. Increasing numbers of officials are falling before this reign of terror. The instability of the regime has even had a dampening effect on the economic activities of the general populace.

Mother’s Day – Sad Day for NK Orphans

NK mothers whom China has repatriated cannot be thanked by their children this Mother’s Day.

Because of Chinese internal politics, any North Koreans including mothers, if caught and arrested, are forcibly shipped back to North Korea, leaving their children behind in China.  LFNKR looks after as many of these children as we can.  Unfortunately, our reach is limited, leaving many more kids with no one to care.   In this video, Kato Hiroshi, LFNKR’s executive director,  explains more about the situation.

Fleeing North Korea Part 1

Takayuki Noguchi

Fleeing North Korea: Southeast Asia
Part 1: The Rescue Mission Begins

By Takayuki Noguchi

(This is the first article in the series “Fleeing North Korea: Southeast Asia” by LFNKR’s Takayuki Noguchi)

On December 10, 2003, I was convicted by the Chinese authorities of traveling with North Korean defectors and sentenced to eight months in prison. The two defectors I was with were also detained and then forcibly repatriated to North Korea. I heard that one of them was tortured and died, and the other was sent to a prison camp for six months. After I was released, I decided to record as much as possible about what had happened. The result was “Fleeing North Korea” (Japanese; published 2010).

Obituary

Rest in peace, Kenkichi Nakadaira

It is with great sadness that Life Funds for North Korean Refugees announces the passing of its founding Executive Director, Kenkichi Nakadaira at the age of 89 from heart failure.

We are deeply grateful for the selfless devotion he showed, becoming the bedrock of the fledgling organization that LFNKR then was. LFNKR, a recognized NPO, is the organization it is today because of the foundation that Nakadaira-sensei established. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Nakadaira-sensei for everything he has done and we express our deepest condolences to his family.

LFNKR Exect Kato Interviewed

Emil Truszkowski, a Polish journalist, who is the first subscriber to the LFNKR YouTube site, visited LFNKR office in Tokyo to interview Hiroshi Kato, the executive director.  He has posted the interview at his channel “Welcome to North Korea.”  Truszkowski expressed his wish to help Polish people become aware of the North Korea human rights issue.

LFNKR to participate in NK human rights event

LFNKR board member will join Japan’s NK human rights symposium in NY

On May 5th, 2015, the government of Japan will host the international symposium on human rights violations by North Korea, including their record of abductions.  LFNKR is dispatching a permanent board member to participate in the special event.

Set a Goal and Tackle it for Best Results

Former NK refugee aims at certified nurse

Here is an update from Miss K. H., the young North Korean defector who is now studying to become a nurse in Tokyo. Like Sumi’s mother (in the previous post), this young lady also reported on her current activities at the recent LFNKR annual meeting.

It will soon be 2 years since I entered the nursing school in April 2013.  Time is flying by as I scramble to keep up with the heavy curriculum schedule, which includes the weekly exams, the events and all the practical training. 

Former NK Refugee Starts New Business

Former NK refugee starts a new business

LFNKR has helped many North Korean refugees to escape and resettle in Japan. Here is one of those success stories. This young lady attended LFNKR’s recent annual meeting, where she caught us up on her current activities. This report is from the mother of Baby Sumi, now age two (check the links below for more details). Here is a summary of her presentation.

A Whole New Look

Website Facelift

See anything different? Silly question, right? You’re probably already noticing the new look. Here at NorthKoreanRefugees.com we’re in the process of changing our site’s appearance. Starting today, we’re sporting an entirely new, more streamlined style.

The old look was a very new look back in 2002, when we first launched this site. But time marches on – especially on the Internet – and the very newest thing can be superseded very quickly by technology that works better, faster and more transparently. 

UN Receives NK Human Rights Review

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

( Visit UN’s Periodic Review Page )

Submission for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(NORTH KOREA)

2 Executed, 7 to Prison Camp

9 N.K. Defectors Repatriated
7 Sent to Labor Camp, 2 Executed


An Example of NK’s “Humanitarian” Treatment of Defectors

In June of 2013, we reported on 9 orphans who made it all the way out of North Korea, across China, and into Laos before they were arrested and repatriated to the brutal regime they were trying to escape. (See “World Community Outraged by Orphans Returned to NK“)

Now, news is starting to filter out about what happened to them. The Dong A Ilbo website in South Korea reports that of the nine young escapees, two were executed, and the other seven sent to the infamous Prison Camp 14.

Crowd Funding

New — Crowd Funding Initiative
Exciting Donation and Financing Technology


GOAL:
Help One More North Korean Refugee Reach Safety

Everybody’s familiar with how fast Internet technology advances. Way, way back in 2003, when we instituted a new way for you to donate (via PayPal), it was still a fairly new idea. But time rolls quickly onward.

And now, there’s a new option we think you might appreciate. It’s called “Crowd Funding” and it’s an easy way to make donations to help support the rescue of North Korean refugees. Find out more about crowd funding here.

2014 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report Overview
Date: November 29, 2014
 

From 17th Gen. Meeting Oct. 19, 2014

Introduction
As a member of the ICNK, LFNKR has been actively working with other international NGO members to help the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate North Korean human rights violations. Primary activities include providing investigation materials, as well as related North Korean and Chinese written laws and regulations, testimonies by previous detainees at the notorious death camps and their relatives, public hearings of North Korean defectors and nonofficial interviews with North Korean defectors.

Whitewash Goes to Prison

2014-10-yodok-map

North Korea Whitewashing
Infamous Prison Camps

Prison Camp Getting a Face Lift

It appears that North Korea may be instituting a new prison reform – in its own strange way.

Reports filtering out of North Korea suggest that political prisoners are secretly being smuggled out of the notorious Yodok prison camp in North Hamgyeong Province, and transferred to other camps under cover of darkness, so that their movements cannot be tracked by satellite cameras.

Joint Statement to Prime Minister Abe

Joint Statement from Five
Japanese & Korean NGOs


To Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Request for the Permanent Resettlement in Japan of all Japanese Spouses and Family (including grandchildren) of Ethnic Koreans “Repatriated” to North Korea on the occasion of the Stockholm Agreement between Japan and North Korea

On the occasion of the July 1 initiation of the Japan-North Korea government-level consultations, we would like to express our deepest respect for your commitment to resolving humanitarian problems including the issue of helping those abducted by North Korea.

Follow LFNKR on Twitter

twitterbird

Follow LFNKR on Twitter


Here Are LFNKR’s Latest Tweets


 


Open Letter to China’s President

Open Letter to the President of China
June 29, 2014


From Keigoh Tabira, 2nd-Generation “Nagasaki Hibakusha” (Atomic-bomb victim in Nagasaki, Japan)


A personal appeal from one private citizen seeking peace for a just world.

1. Stop ignoring brutal behavior that directly damages China’s own national interests

Doing Well in Nursing School

Former NK refugee loves nursing school

Nursing School, First Year Done


Update from former NK refugee

Miss K. H., one of the North Korean defectors we helped rescue four years ago, just sent us an update on her progress in nursing school. As you may recall from ourearlier article last year, she is a former North Korean defector who has resettled in Japan.

What We Look for in an Intern

If You’ve Ever Thought of Internship…

Throughout the year, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees receives inquiries from students interested in doing an internship with us. We’re excited by all the enthusiasm for North Korean human rights issues that this represents, and we wish that we could take on some of these impressive candidates.

7 NK Refugees Waiting for Help

Seven NK Refugees awaiting Rescue

Low Funds Delay Rescue Mission – Can You Help?

For a while now, LFNKR has been working quietly with a couple of South Korean NGO partners. Currently, we are ready to launch missions that will result in the rescue of a total of seven North Korean defectors (3 families and one woman) now hiding in China. However, due to a depleted rescue budget, we find ourselves unable to implement the first step of this rescue plan.

Baby Sumi Celebrates First Birthday

Baby Sumi's First Birthday

Report from Mother

Sumi, the baby born to our North Korean refugee parents in December of 2012, is growing and thriving wonderfully. Recently, a photo and email arrived at our LFNKR offices reporting on Sumi’s first birthday celebration.

NK Human Rights Abuses Detailed in UN Report

UN Report on Human Rights Abuses in North Korea

 

UN Lays Open NK Human Rights Abuses

On February 7, 2014 the United Nations released a 36-page report produced by its Commission of Inquiry based upon many hours of eye witness testimony detailing human rights abuses in North Korea. The report is titled “Report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”

Changed Life – Unchanged Heart

By Keiko Kawai

(name changed for security)

Fifteen years ago I left my parents, brothers and friends behind and set out for Japan, a country whose ways I knew nothing about. This move has brought dramatic changes to my life; meanwhile my heart – my determination and my commitment to a better life – has never wavered.

Trains Allow Freedom of Speech in NK

Trains a free speech outlet in NK

By Local LFNKR Staff Member

I know that people around the world believe that there is no freedom of speech in North Korea. This is not wrong. However, we do have one – and only one – exceptional place where we can enjoy freedom of speech. This is in our trains. We have a strict status-oriented society, which means rigid discriminations of rank. So our trains have special compartments for top officials.

Speech — “Inside North Korea”

LFNKR's Hiroshi Kato

Address to International Media Forum

Mr. Hiroshi Kato, executive director of LFNKR, was invited to the International Media Forum event titled “Inside North Korea” held on April 1 at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. The Forum had 41 participants, including NGO groups, Japanese and foreign media and diplomats. Mr. Kato’s gave an outline of this group’s activities along with some specific figures.

Camp 14 – Born in NK Political Prison

Documentary on Camp 14 Filmed

Recruiting Volunteers To Expand Film Screenings

A German director has made a documentary film depicting the harrowing life of a young man who was born and raised in a North Korean political prison camp, and is currently living in South Korea after defecting from North Korea.

2013 LFNKR Annual Report Overview

From 16th General Meeting. Oct. 20, 2013

Introduction

LFNKR, in FY2012 (Sept. 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013), has witnessed improved awareness in the international community with respect to the North Korean human rights issue. The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), was established in Sept. 2011. This organization, which includes 43 international NGOs in 15 countries, is engaged in lobbying activities. The ICNK group in Japan, of which LFNKR is also a member, has repeatedly visited Japanese Diet lawmakers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as well as a number of foreign embassies in Tokyo.

NK Security Clamps Down on Brokers

Storms of Arrests, Executions Seen

On Nov. 25, one of our local staff members (K-0078) in North Korea sent us a report on the most recent security measures being enacted at the border of Hyesan, Ryanggang-do. In October, North Korea started dispatching special inspection forces from the state security department and the people’s army political department to tighten their border security.