On the foundation of the 75th Anniversary of UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 20th Anniversary of North Korea Freedom Week and its US-ROK-Japan trilateral human rights forum last year, it is time to focus on the realization of a Free and Unified Korea specified in the historic Trilateral Summit and its Camp David Spirit and Principle. A Human Rights Upfront strategy, embraced by international civil society is key to the peaceful transformation of totalitarian regimes. Human dignity and universal values must be secured for all members of the human family.
Yet cruel human rights violations have continued in North Korea and have not been a priority. The impact of these violations on the nuclear and security crisis was highlighted in the most recent UN Security Council session. For the sake of North Korean people and enduring peace in East Asia, we must build international consensus on a comprehensive strategy. With perspectives of specialists and first-hand insights from North Korean escapees, this forum explores new solutions through a novel comprehensive approach including sending information, international law and security, expanding international support and unprecedented potential of the ‘Jangmadang’ young generation.
9:30 AM Korea Time: Opening & Congratulatory Remarks
Opening Remark: Dr. Jai-poong Ryu, Founder of One Korea Foundation
Dr. Jai-poong Ryu is Professor emeritus, Loyola University Maryland. He graduated from Law College at Seoul National University and received a doctorate in sociology from University of Minnesota. Upon 2012 retirement after 42 years of university teaching, Dr. Ryu founded the One Korea Foundation, Inc. (OKF) serving as its president and CEO. The OKF conducts activities with the purpose of informing U.S. public opinion supporting ROK President Park’s Dresden proposals for unification. In early 2015 OKF formed One Korea Coalition (OKC) in partnership with Global Peace Foundation and 600 groups in Korea and the United States. In 2015 for the 70th anniversary commemoration of Korea’s liberation and division, OKC embarked upon One Dream One Korea Campaign to promote the new Declaration for One Korea and the new Song for One Korea.
Opening Remark: Dr. Chanil Ahn, Co-Chair of Action for Korea United, President of the World Institute for North Korea Studies
Dr. Chan-il Ahn is President of the World Institute for North Korea Studies, Chair Professor Emeritus of Open Cyber University of Korea, Senior Advisor of Ministry of National Defense, and Member of National Unification Advisory Council. He was born in Uiju North Korea, then he defected to South Korea in 1979. He earned a PhD at Konkuk University in politics. MA at Korea University Graduate School, graduated college of Political Science and Diplomacy at Korea University.
Congratulatory Remarks: Amb. Shin-wha Lee, Ambassador on North Korean Human Rights Issues
MC Mr. Jong-chun Park, Secretary General, Action for Korea United
Mr. Jong-chun Park is Secretary General of the Action for Korea United, an alliance of over 1,000 Korean civic groups in Korea since 2012. He was formerly a member of the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Youth Commission for the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation. In addition, he also serves as Secretary General for ONE K Global Campaign Committee to garner global support for Korean unification through K-pop. He holds a master degree in NGO studies from Kyung-Hee University, Seoul.
9:50 AM Korea Time: USA Session & Q&A
Dr. Suzanne Scholte, Chair of the North Korea Freedom Coalition
Dr. Suzanne Scholte is Chair of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, President of the Defense Forum Foundation, Chair of Free North Korea Radio and Co-Vice Chair of HRNK. She is one of the world’s leading activists for North Korea human rights and a policy expert for promoting their freedom and dignity. She has received numerous awards including the Seoul Peace Prize and the Sungnye Medal Order of Diplomatic Service. She has testified many times before the United States Congress and at the United Nations, and has hosted visits to the USA for hundreds of defectors to testify in Congress, at the UN and many other venues.
Col. David Maxwell, Senior Fellow of Global Peace Foundation
Col. (R) David Maxwell a Senior Fellow at the Global Peace Foundation and at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Vice President at the Center for Asia Pacific Strategy. He is the editor of the Small Wars Journal. He is a 30-year veteran of the US Army retiring in 2011 as a Special Forces Colonel with his final assignment serving on the military faculty teaching national security strategy at the National War College. He has spent more than 30 years in Asia with 3 years on the Korean DMZ and served on the United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / United States Forces Korea UCJ3 staff where he was a planner for OPLAN 5027 and co-author of the original CONPLAN 5029 (North Korean Instability and Collapse) and later served as the Director of Plans, Policy, and Strategy (J5) and the Chief of Staff for Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR). He is a fellow at the Institute of Corean-American Studies (ICAS) and on the Board of Advisors for Spirit of America. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), the International Council of Korean Studies (ICKS), the Small Wars Journal, and the OSS Society. He teaches a graduate course, “Unconventional Warfare and Special Operations for Policy Makers and Strategists”.
Ambassador Morse Tan, Dean of Law at Liberty University
Ambassador Morse Hyung-Myung Tan is Dean of School of Law at Liberty University and served as the first Asian-American Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice in U.S. history. He has published extensive law review articles on North Korea and published the book North Korea, International Law and the Dual Crises: Narrative and Constructive Engagement. He previously held Visiting Scholar positions at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and the University of Texas. The Korean-American Society of Chicago honored him as Korean-American of the Year and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs selected him as an Emerging Leader. His media and speaking engagements regarding the DPRK have included the National Law Journal, Reuters, Associated Press (AP), UPI, WGN+, Voice of America, the U.S. State Department Distinguished Lecture Series, and Cornell Law School.
Mr. Hyunseung Lee, Fellow of Global Peace Foundation
Mr. Hyun-seung Lee is Fellow at Global Peace Foundation. He escaped North Korea when he was 29 years old. He engaged in trade and economic relations between China and North Korea through his managerial role in a business entity under the DPRK regime. He graduated from China Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, where he was the chairman of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, Dalian China branch. After completing his military service in 2005 with the rank of Sergeant, he was granted membership in the Korean Workers Party. A series of brutal purges by Kim Jong Un forced him and his entire family to defect in late 2014. He regularly makes his appearance on the Korean media including Voice of America (VOA), and Radio Free Asia (RFA). Hyunseung is a Fellow on North Korean Studies at the Global Peace Foundation, and has been engaged with several NGOs in consulting roles. He studies Master of Public Administration in Global Leadership at Columbia University.
10:40 AM Korea Time: Japan Session & Q&A
Ms. Eiko Kawasaki, Chair of Action for Korea United Japan, and Chair of Korea of All
Ms. Eiko Kawasaki is the Chairwoman of Action for Korea United-Japan and Founder of “KOREA OF ALL”. She was repatriated to North Korea in 1960 at the age of 17. She had lived in North Korea for 43 years and defected in 2003. In 2019, she held the 60th anniversary of the repatriation of 93,000 Korean Japanese. Last year, she initiated the renewal project of “Botonamu (willow trees) Street” in Nigata, Japan. In 2018, she filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against the North Korean Government demanding a compensation of 500 million yen for the victims (currently with the Tokyo High Court). Her book titled “The Story of People Returning to North Korea from Japan“ was published in Japan and then in Korea in 2021. It has been translated and will be published in the U.S.
Ms. Sora Lee, Committee Chair of Botonamu-Street Renewal Project, Shin-BotonamuKai
Ms. Sora Lee is the Committee Chair of the Botonamu-Street Renewal Project and Shin-BotonamuKai. She is the Secretary General of KOREA OF ALL (모두 모이자). Born in North Korea, Ms. Lee graduated from the Department of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at a University in North Korea. In 2008, she defected from North Korea with two children under 10 years old. Tragically, her husband was arrested by the National Security Agency (he lives in North Korea now). After arriving in Japan, Ms. Lee studied Law at Hosei University. She then became a founding member of the NGO, KOREA OF ALL. In 2014 she submitted an application to the Japan Bar Association for relief law of the 93,000 Korean Japanese who were repatriated into North Korea. In December 2022, she submitted documents to the Korean Government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ROK regarding the human rights issues of the repatriated Korean Japanese.
Mr. Masaki Ikeda, President of the Classmate Association of Megumi Yokota
Mr. Masaki Ikeda is President of the Classmate Association of Megumi Yokota. He was born in Niigata City, Japan in 1964. His middle school classmate Megumi Yokota was abducted by a North Korea agent at the age of 13 in 1977. Just 15 minutes before she was abducted, they were practicing badminton in the next court. Mr. Ikeda committed to continuing rescue activities until the day Megumi returns home.
11:20 AM Korea Time: Korea Session & Q&A
Mr. Kook-han Moon, President, N.K. Human Rights International Association
Mr. Kook-han Moon, President, N.K. Human Rights International Association and Korean Representative of International Solidarity of Human Rights for North Koreans. Kookhan Moon is an activist working to let the world know of the suffering of North Korean people. He has rescued dozens of North Korean defectors who escaped conditions of starvation and terror, arranging hiding places in China. In June 2001, he broke into the UN Human Rights Commission office in Beijing with seven family members of defector Gil Su Chang and assisted in the repatriation of one to South Korea, drawing the attention of the global community. Also, he assisted the other five family members broke into the Japanese Consulate in Shenyang. From 1994, he has worked to save North Korean defectors in China.
Mr. Cheolhwan Kang, President of North Korea Strategy Center
Mr. Cheol-hwang Kang is the President of North Korea Strategy Center, Co-President of Action for Korea United. He is the first defector who informed the international society about the cruel reality of concentration camps in North Korea. As a child, he was imprisoned in the Yodok camp for 10 years. He published “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”, and worked as a writer specialized in North Korean affairs at The Chosun Ilbo for 10 years. He has sent thousands of USBs, DVDs and radios into North Korea. He runs Pyongyang 24 O’clock (평양24시) YouTube broadcast.
Mr. Cheol Lim, Public Interest Fellow Attorney at Law Seoul University
Cheol Lim, Esq. is an accomplished legal professional dedicated to human rights and public interest. He graduated from Korea University with a Law degree in August 2013 and continued his studies at Seoul National University Law School, earning his degree in February 2018. In April 2022, he successfully passed the Korean Bar Exam, establishing himself as a qualified attorney. Cheol has actively contributed to various organizations and initiatives throughout his career. He co-founded the Korea University North Korean Human Rights Club, Libertas, in April 2011. He also served as a youth manager at the North Korea Strategy Center, a non-governmental organization focusing on North Korean affairs, in February 2012. Cheol’s commitment to law is demonstrated through his professional experiences. He participated in the Unification Law Research Course at the Unification Legal Affairs Division of the Ministry of Justice in June 2015. He interned at the National Human Rights Commission in June 2016. Currently, he works as an attorney at Jeon Law Firm, starting in April 2022. Additionally, he holds the position of Attorney at SNU Law Public Interest & Legal Clinic Center, beginning in August 2022. Cheol’s expertise and dedication make him a valuable advocate for justice and the well-being of society.
Mr. Inteck Seo, Co-Chair, Action for Korea United
Mr. Inteck Seo is the President of Global Peace Foundation Korea and co-Chair of Action for Korea United, a coalition of over 800 NGOs committed to building a grassroots movement to support Korean reunification. Mr. Seo has been involved with the Global Peace Foundation in many of its ground-breaking initiatives to advance awareness and advocacy for Korean reunification and overseas development work. He was instrumental in the launch of the All-Lights Village Project that uses solar powered lanterns to spark community development by setting the grounds of improved literacy, healthy, economic activity and safety.
12:10 AM Korea Time: Lunch Session
Ambassador Jung-Hoon Lee, Chair of Committee for Planning Future Unification
Ambassador Jung-Hoon Lee is Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University. He is formerly ROK government’s Ambassador for Human Rights as well as its inaugural Ambassador-at-Large for North Korean Human Rights. His academic affiliations include visiting professorship at Keio University and senior fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School. Prof. Lee is currently Chair of ROK Ministry of Unification’s Committee for the Promotion of North Korean Human Rights as well as its Committee for Unification Future Planning Committee, Policy Advisor to the National Security Council, and Chair of the Human Rights & International Affairs Committee (National Council for Peaceful Unification). His other domestic commitments include his role as senior advisor to the Future Korea Weekly, chairman of the board of Tongwon Educational Foundation, and chairman of the Global Peace Pumassi Association. Internationally, he is a board member of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) based in Washington, DC, an international patron of the Hong Kong Watch, and an advisory council member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, also based in London. He received his BA from Tufts University, MALD from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College). He published in 2017 Tongbukah Kyŏkrang ui Hanbokp’anesŏ [In the Midst of a Northeast Asian Current]. His most recent journal contributions include “Déjà Vu in South Korea? Lessons from the 1992 Philippines Withdrawal” in the Washington Quarterly (2020), “The UN’s Human Security Challenge: The Plight of North Korean Refugees in China” in the Journal of International Politics (2020), and “North Korea’s Nuclear and Human Rights Conundrum: Implications for South Korea’s Unification Goal” in the Pacific Focus (2020).
9:30 AM Korea Time
- Dr. Jai-poong Ryu, Founder of One Korea Foundation (Video)
- Dr. Chanil Ahn, Co-Chair of Action for Korea United, President of the World Institute for North Korea Studies
- Amb. Shin-wha Lee, Ambassador on North Korean Human Rights Issues (Zoom)
- Mr. Jong-chun Park, Secretary General of Action for Korea United
9:50 AM Korea Time - USA Session
- Dr. Suzanne Scholte, Chair of North Korea Freedom Coalition “No More Kim Jong Un Slaves: What Must Be Done”
- Col. David Maxwell, Senior Fellow of Global Peace Foundation "Human Rights and Unification - Mutually Supporting and Reinforcing"
- Amb. Morse Tan, Dean of Law at Liberty University (Video) "Justice for a Criminal Cult"
- Mr. Hyunseung Lee, Fellow of Global Peace Foundation (Video) "Pioneering Change: Young Leaders for Free & Unified Korea"
10:40 AM Korea Time - Japan Session
- Ms. Eiko Kawasaki, Chair of Action for Korea United Japan, and Chair of Korea of All “AKU-Japan’s Activities for 5 Years”
- Ms. Sora Lee, Committee Chair of Botonamu-Street Renewal Project, Shin-BotonamuKai “Niigata Memorial Park for North Korea Human Rights Violations and International Solidarity Against North Korea’s Conciliation System”
- Mr. Masaki Ikeda, President of the Classmate Association of Megumi Yokota “Time to Endure Unbearable Difficulties for Classmate of Megumi Yokota and Her Family”
11:20 AM Korea Time - Korea Session
- Mr. Kook-han Moon, President, N.K. Human Rights International Association “2024 Seoul 1st North Korea Human Rights World Expo: Convey our hearts”
- Mr. Cheolhwan Kang, President of North Korea Strategy Center “Circumstances of Hwaseong No. 16 concentration camp and nuclear test massacre”
- Mr. Cheol Lim, Public Interest Fellow Attorney at Law Seoul University “Legal issues and countermeasures regarding forced repatriation of North Korean defectors in China”
- Mr. Inteck Seo, Co-Chair, Action for Korea United
12:10 PM Korea Time - Lunch Session
- Amb. Jung-Hoon Lee, Chair of Committee for Planning Future Unification “The international community's efforts to resolve North Korean human rights issues, focusing on the COI report”