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Writings on North Korea

After listening to a North Korean defector’s testimony for the first time in 2005, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to learn about the country’s history, current state of affairs, and most importantly, about the lives of North Korean people and of those who end up fleeing the country.

North Korean defector students serving homeless people in Seoul

During my trip to Seoul this summer, I met extraordinary people who escaped North Korea and are involved in service projects throughout South Korea. I was particularly inspired by North Korean defectors who are now college students in Seoul who want to “achieve unification… Continue Reading →

Want Better News on North Korea by the Best Sources?

…then support NKNews.com’s Kickstarter Campaign titled “North Korea Borderlands Reporting Project!” This project will send two North Korean defector journalists to the Chinese-North Korean border to source news and share their findings with us all.  Check out the video and support… Continue Reading →

New York City Hosts a North Korea Propaganda Artist / Political Prisoner / Dissident Artist

Song Byeok went from being a North Korean propaganda artist to political prisoner to now a dissident artist. His work will be exhibited in New York City for the next few weeks (May 7 – June 13) and I’d love… Continue Reading →

Hack and Frack North Korea: How Information Campaigns can Liberate the Hermit Kingdom

I’ve been working on this research and short paper titled “Hack and Frack North Korea: How Information Campaigns can Liberate the Hermit Kingdom“ for a while now and it finally came out today. Please check it out and share it with… Continue Reading →

Grab your next latte at Cafe Red Cherry, a Seoul-based Cafe run by North Korean “New Settlers”

In a city obsessed with thematic, niche cafes, the most unique–and perhaps most meaningful–cafe has opened its doors in Seoul a few months ago: a cafe started and run entirely by North Korean defectors. There are over 27,000 North Korean defectors who… Continue Reading →

Art Club at Yeomyung School (Alternative School for North Korean students in Seoul)

When working at Google a few years ago, I connected with some North Korean students at Yeomyung school, one of the few private alternative schools for North Korean students who fled their country and currently live in Seoul. Some generous Googlers donated… Continue Reading →

I’ve been working on this project for some time now, and cannot emphasize enough how inspirational and effective the Albert Einstein Institute is. If you are interested, please download the Korean version of this, or the English version of this… Continue Reading →

North Korea Hackathon in Silicon Valley (Behind the Scenes!)

This past weekend, a North Korea Hackathon took place in Silicon Valley, hopefully the first of many. The New York City-based Human Rights Foundation organized this event in San Francisco that drew a diverse crowd of about one hundred people, including engineers,… Continue Reading →

  For those of you in New York City who are interested in learning about North Korean youth's identity in South Korea, please register for this event.  The Korean American Community Foundation is sponsoring "North Korean Millenials: Exploring Identity and Place"… Continue Reading →

Lessons from our visit to the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights

As part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Asia Leadership Trek, my 40 classmates and I visited the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights in Seoul to learn about the abhorrent human rights situation in North Korea.  Personally, I have… Continue Reading →

My NPR Interview in light of the UN’s recent REPORT on North Korea’s human rights violations

I was asked to give an NPR interview in light of the UN’s recent release of a report on North Korea’s unspeakable human rights violations. It’s a short 12-minute interview. Please listen to it if you get a chance; the… Continue Reading →

A Memory from my trip to North Korea

Me and some of my friends at the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues in Pyongyang, the first stop on our tour in North Korea. During my recent trip to North Korea that I co-organized for 24 Harvard… Continue Reading →

“Compared to Other Inmates, My Suffering is Nothing”: An Evening with an Escapee from Camp 14

  On November 19th, 2012, our North Korea Study Group at HKS hosted Mr. Shin Dong Hyuk to be a guest speaker for over 225 students, professors, and community members. For over an hour, Mr. Shin shared stories and lessons… Continue Reading →

Kim Young Soon: Sentenced to Yodok Concentration Camp for Knowing Kim Jong-Il’s Secret Consort

  On October 5, 2012, the North Korea Study Group at HKS hosted Ms. Kim Young Soon, a former celebrated dancer in North Korea.  In her 2008 book entitled “I was Sung Hye-rim’s Friend,” Ms. Kim described her ordeal at… Continue Reading →

Unforgettable Team of Ten: North Korean participants at Google Illicit Networks Conference 2012

Back in July, I organized the North Korean panel at Google’s conference on Illicit Networks in Westlake, California.  Ranging from the regime’s elite party members to the country’s forgotten orphans, ten North Korean defectors flew in from Seoul to join… Continue Reading →

My Chat with “Paul” (25 year-old North Korean Defector) at Google Ideas Illicit Networks Conference (INFO Summit 2012)

As Google’s North Korea Lead, I’ve been working on several projects related to connecting North Korean defectors with various online resources. One recent project was to manage the North Korean panel and workshop (or “lab”) at the Google Ideas INFO… Continue Reading →

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