NKFW 2010

Seoul, Korea

Press Release: North Korea Freedom Week to Be Held in Seoul April 25-May 1

(Apr 14 2010) Seoul...North Korea Freedom Week will kick off on April 25 as a week to promote the freedom, human rights, and dignity of the North Korean people. The event, which has been organized by the North Korea Freedom Coalition annually since 2004 in Washington, D.C., will be held for the first time in Seoul, South Korea. North Korean defectors and South Korean leaders and activists are organizing exhibits, a major rally, seminars, press conferences, prayer vigils and other events all focused on highlighting the misery the Kim Jong-il regime has inflicted on the people of North Korea, as well as citizens of South Korea, Japan and other countries.

NKFW 2010 will begin with a prayer service hosted by the North Korean defector churches and the opening of the North Korea Genocide Exhibit and will conclude with a balloon launch from the DMZ which will include radios, money, and a special message about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The message will point out that the same year the United Nations adopted this declaration in 1948 was the same year that Kim Il Sung came to power to ensure that North Koreans were denied every single one of these universally accepted rights.

"With the increasing ability for North Koreans to learn about the outside world, it is fitting that North Korea Freedom Week will be held in South Korea for the first time," said Kim Seung Min of Free North Korea Radio. "North Koreans are increasingly finding out that their misery is a direct result of the Kim Jong-il regime, not South Korea and America as we were brainwashed from birth to believe."

Special events during the week will focus on the North Korean gulag, the trafficking of North Korean women, the abduction by the regime of South Korean and Japanese citizens, and other topics.

Dr. Hyunuk Kim, who is chairing the Rally for North Korea Freedom Week, added, "Our songs and prayers for freedom and human rights in North Korea from Seoul will be heard around the world and in North Korea, leading to a dramatic change in North Korean society." Describing North Korea as the world's coldest land and the world's largest gulag, Dr. Kim said, "We must keep moving forward and strong until we meet the day when the spring sunshine finally finds itself in North Korea."

Warning that it was a crime to remain apathetic in the face of one of the world's worst human rights violations in history, Professor Yon Hee Lee, who is organizing the NKFW prayer vigil, warned, "We cannot remain silent as this tragedy continues or we will face God's judgment."

"Our hope is that North Korea Freedom Week will empower the 17,000 strong North Korean defectors in South Korea, awaken the consciousness of the world that the human rights conditions in North Korea must be addressed, and inform all who are suffering north of the DMZ that we will work together until the day their freedom, human rights and dignity are realized," said Seoul Peace Prize Laureate, Suzanne Scholte, who is Co-Chairing NKFW with Professor Hwang Jang-yop.

"We are very proud that so many defectors, who have been part of the North Korea Freedom Week delegations each year, are now taking the lead in sponsoring events throughout the week, and we are deeply grateful to the South Korean NGOs and leaders who are also organizing events," she added.

Simultaneously with events being held in Seoul, Open Doors-USA, will be organizing prayer events for North Korea throughout the USA.