Category Archives: Donation
On February 13, the world was rocked by news that Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un, had been assassinated using VX, a highly toxic liquid nerve agent, at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. The Sunday Express (British online newspaper), in its March 12 issue, reported that Kim Jong-un is also thought to have personally ordered the assassination of a British national and an American in retaliation for assisting Thae Yong-ho, formerly North Korea’s deputy ambassador to London, when he defected to the West in August last year.
Your donations do make a difference
Your support has enabled us to save a 27-year-old North Korean refugee. On February 23, LFNKR successfully completed the rescue mission to bring Mr. Y.Y. out of China to a safe place.
It has been your generous support and donations that made it possible for him to even dream of freedom.
Five more remaining people still await their chance for rescue. We are thankful for your concern for these people living at risk. If you would like to donate to help these five to reach safety, please click through to our donation page.
With sincere thanks,
Hiroshi Kato, Director of LFNKR
On Nov. 26, LFNKR received a rescue request from a group of six North Korean refugees, one of whom is a 4-year-old girl. These people are survivors of the heavy flooding caused by North Korea’s torrential rains in late August. Reportedly, more than 100,000 people lost their homes.
One LFNKR member visited the China-North Korea border and took photos of the affected area. The following two photos were taken two days after the flooding.
After their village was completely swept away by the disaster, these six people fled to China, initially searching for food just to survive. Soon afterward they heard about LFNKR and contacted us for help relocating.
For more details, refer to: this CNN article
In this Christmas season, with the spirit of giving and receiving, we gratefully thank you for all the assistance you have sent us in the past. And we invite you to join us in helping these six refugees reach safety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exciting Donation and Financing Technology
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.
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.
Heaviest Rains in 40 Years Catastrophically Damage Grain Crops in North Korea
LFNKR local staff reports – the heaviest rains in 40 years have caused serious damage to grain producing areas in North Korea, including Hwanghae-do and Pyong-an Namdo. These two areas already suffered severe damage during the two previous years, and now they have been hit again. This, before they had a chance to recover from the devastation of last year and the year before.
UPDATE – July 11th:
The two North Korean women who were waiting for us to escort them to safety were successfully conducted to a safe zone and, once all official processing is completed, will be resettled in South Korea.
2nd UPDATE – August 30th:
The two North Korean women have now safely reached South Korea and are settling in to their new life of freedom.
More NK Refugees Awaiting Rescue – Help Us Get Them to Safety
LFNKR has received desperate cries for help from NK defectors. A severely physically handicapped father, 59, and his two sons (ages 27 and 25) have risked their lives to escape from North Korea. They are now in Yanji, waiting for us to help them make it the rest of the way to South Korea.
By LFNKR local staff member in China
A group of typical students study at one of our foster care shelters in China. The shelter is situated near the North Korean border. It is true that the North Korean government provides facilities in each province to accommodate Kot-jebi (homeless street children). However, since the facilities are chronically short of food, many children, driven by hunger, run away to seek food on their own.
Annual Report Released at 15th General Meeting 10/8/2012
Attending LFNKR’s 15th Annual Meeting in Tokyo this year were five North Korean defectors who have settled in Japan. They talked about how they had managed to survive and how they made a living in North Korea. They also discussed some of the difficulties they endured before finally making it to Japan.
Boy & Girl Suffering from Tuberculosis
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) is currently caring for a number of North Korean orphans living in the caves of Chanbai Mountain in China’s Jilin Province. Recently LFNKR received a report from our local staff that two of these North Korean orphans are suffering from Tuberculosis.
LFNKR recently received a letter from a homeless child (Kot-jebi) forwarded by a Christian-based NGO in South Korea. The letter was written by a 13-year-old Kot-jebi, who lost his feet due to frostbite aggravated by severe burns. Mr. Kim, a Korean NGO director, has been working with Korean missionaries and local Korean-Chinese to support North Korean defectors and Kot-jebi, homeless children. LFNKR has decided to join them to help strengthen their local activities.
LFNKR, working jointly with several South Korean NGOs, launched last month 20 large balloons into the skies above North Korea to carry 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of Choco Pies, along with a total of 3,000 leaflets. The site chosen for launching the balloons was Ganghwa Island, a site very close to NK. The island is located in the estuary of the Han River, on the west coast of South Korea.
Surgery Done without Anesthesia
A local LFNKR staff member in North Korea in charge of medical support spoke with a Japanese surgeon recently. The surgeon said that even if a doctor is very good, there was no way to perform operations successfully without postoperative management or the required sterile instruments, disinfecting, antibiotics and transfusions. It was even stated that antibiotics might not be necessary after operations if wounds were uninfected, because these days operations are done in clean environments.
We Can Help Only a Handful
Although thousands upon thousands in North Korea were without food, warm clothes or adequate shelter this past winter, we were able to provide relief for only a few hundred. By November of each year, our organization must secure the money needed to send shipments of winter clothing, medical kits and rice to some of the most needy people in North Korea through our local underground network. Thus, we are starting early to build up funds for next winter. According to some observers, conditions are likely to be even worse by then.
Empowering Our Youth
Ordinarily we don’t mention specific charities or fund raising groups, but this initiative involving students is so unique and delightful that we decided you’d probably want to hear about it. The 100,000 Paper Cranes to Rebuild Japan project was brought to our attention by a friend in the US.
Helpful Dog, Momoko, Plays Important Role in Fundraising
On Oct. 23, in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, a large-scale rally was held in support of rescuing victims abducted by North Korea. Hosted by the metropolitan assembly legislator coalition and Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea (Japanese NGO), a rally for rescuing the victims abducted by North Korea was held on Oct. 23 at the square in front of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office.
Critical Shortage of Foods and Medicines in North Korea
The disastrous floods of July and August have caused enormous damage in Pakistan, China and North Korea. Serious damage was caused to North Korean granary areas, including Huang Hai Namdo, Pukto, Hamgyong Pukto and Namdo in the Northern area.
More Gifts from Ms. Warmheart
LFNKR’s foster children in China are excited to receive warm, stylish, hand-knitted caps and mufflers. The wonderful knits continue to arrive from Ms. Warmheart in the US, who personally knits each piece for LFNKR’s foster children.
Success, Failure and Imprisonment
A young Japanese man begins a risky mission to help North Korean refugees escape across the China border into Vietnam.
Noguchi Takayuki, one of this organization’s directors, relates how he was jailed in China in 2003 for engaging in humanitarian work. His book, “Escaping with North Korean Defectors,” was released on April 10, 2010. Noguchi, a young volunteer with a Japanese NGO, was on a mission to guide North Korean defectors to freedom, but ended up jailed in China for 243 days.
Early Christmas Gifts from US Warm LFNKR Members’ Hearts, Too
On July 3, a package filled with knitted goods arrived at the LFNKR office in Tokyo. They were sent by a lady in the US, who knitted them all herself.
She wrote that as she knitted, she pictured the finished gloves, mufflers and caps warming the North Korean foster children who are in LFNKR’s education sponsorship program.
Feeling the Financial Crisis
Falling donations are slashing LFNKR’s rescue activities. This means disaster for many of the North Korean refugees now waiting for help. In fact, we can do less and less for them as our operating funds shrink. It’s a fact that most NGOs in Japan now face financial crisis. LFNKR is, unfortunately, no exception. Some large-scale organizations command huge financial support from religious or political sources. We do not.
LFNKR recently received letters from several of our foster children who are currently in first to third grades of elementary school. These children are being supported under LFNKR’s education sponsorship program. In their letters to their foster parents, the children mainly report on their school records.
First, Banished to the Middle of Nowhere for Watching a South Korean Movie
Hwang Miryon, 19
Former Chongjin University student
(Name changed to protect her safety)
My family was relatively well-off even in Chongjin, but in August 2005 we were suddenly struck by misfortune, something we could never have imagined. It all started when a family with whom we were friends was arrested on charges of watching a foreign film. An acquaintance of the wife was arrested by the “109 Brigade” and before we knew it they had come for us as well.
Further Famine Expected
News media worldwide are reporting on the recent flooding in North Korea and the widespread damage it has caused. Effects from the flood have begun to seriously impact the area in China bordering North Korea, where many of LFNKR’s rescue activities are based.
Made Possible by 300,000 Yen in Donations
The operation to distribute emergency supplies in Hamgyong-bukto, North Korea was a success. Through one of our clandestine local networks, we were able to provide extremely needy people with a total of one ton of rice, as well as clothing and antibiotics. The value of all items supplied equaled 300,000 yen (about US$2,500). The extra supplies were financed by recent donations. Late November of last year, five members of LFNKR’s local group JYO entered Hoeryong-si, North Korea from China, carrying several boxes filled with winter clothing, antibiotics and penicillin.
The Right Clothes Make a Person Invisible
For North Korean refugees hiding in China, the wrong clothes can mean arrest, repatriation and hard prison time. That is why their aim is to blend in, look like the Chinese locals, and escape notice. When warmer weather comes, if they are seen still wearing winter clothing, the Chinese police notice it immediately. Being noticed by the police automatically means arrest for them, followed quickly by forcible return to North Korea where harsh punishment awaits them.
Interviews with Survivors, Former Guards
The world was shocked on February first 2004, when BBC ran an hour-long feature clearly documenting North Korea’s biological experimentation on political prisoners in the highly secretive camps. Such stories are not new, however.
For more than ten years, a group of human rights activists have been working with newly-defected North Koreans, interviewing and collecting stories. Stories that “normal people” in the civilized world could scarcely believe.