The North Korean Human Rights Crisis

Uploaded by Google on 25.07.2007


We'll just get started right now.
Thank you everyone for showing up on a Friday morning.
I know some people are working from home because
July 4 is coming up.
But I really appreciate you guys being here.
My name is Christine Hong.
I am part of the international engineering operations team.
We help to set up and expand our
engineering centers worldwide.
But this has nothing to do with my job.
I just know Adrian.
And he is a guy who is so passionate about what he does.
And has a big heart.
I thought he would be a fresh breath of air for Googlers and
an inspiration to all of us.
A little bit about Adrian.
He is executive director of Liberty in
North Korea, or LiNK.
He was recently arrested by the Chinese authorities and
jailed in 2006 for his work in helping North Korean refugees
escape to freedom.
And we have lunch scheduled at Charlie's.
You'll see a table reserved under LiNK.
And we'll get started.
Here's Adrian.
I guess thank you for taking time out of your day to come
here, let me speak, and learn a little bit
more about this issue.
It's probably more to hear about the issue than me.
Before we start, I'd just like to show a
short clip that we'll--
it's almost a compilation of recent news, and just footage
surrounding the North Korea crisis.
But I will have to find the DVD player.
But, again, my name is Adrian Hong.
Well, I'm from San Diego.
But I'm currently stationed out in Washington, DC.
I travel a lot, but that's where our offices.
And our organization is a non-profit, non-partisan,
non-religious, non-ethnic group that
is focused I guess--
number one priority is on North Korean human rights.
And I'll get a little bit more into what that
means here in a second.
-The children were starving, dying.
They were literally dying on my hand because
there was no food.

-Right now, we're doing Operation Drop Dead here.
And millions are starving in North Korea.
Tons are in prisoner camps.
We got to make a note on-- people don't care here.
That's why we got to do dramatic things like this to
get people to pay attention to what's really going on in the
world, that there are people only 30 kilometers north of
here suffering, and dying, and starving, and in
prison for no reason.
They have no human rights.
And no one cares.
So we have to do these kind of measures to show people, to
make people care.

ADRIAN E. HONG: So, again, my name is Adrian Hong.
I'm here speaking on behalf of a group called Liberty in
North Korea, or LiNK for short.
And I'm going to go into a little bit of background
initially on what exactly we mean by North
Korean human rights.
How many of you were aware of, I guess, the human rights
crisis in North Korea before you got the
email about this event?
So there's a good amount of penetration here.
How many of you were aware that there are concentration
camps in North Korea?
Well, we have a very socially conscience group.
Well, as we all know, burned into our collective memory is
the memory of the Holocaust. All the way as early as
elementary school and middle school when we're reading
about the diary of Anne Frank and watching Schindler's List,
we have a very strong collective memory of what
happened in Nazi Germany and with the Axis Powers.
And 6 million Jews died.
45 million dissidents and criminals--
not criminals, but criminals according to their state.
And other people that were considered undesirable by the
Nazis were executed and were killed in what is, I think,
one of the darkest times of the last century.
After this happened, there was a lot of promises made by
individuals and governments around the world.
Never again, was this phrase that was repeated over and
over again.
We can never again have a situation where any country or
group can get away with destroying an entire people
based on their ethnicity, their race, religion, or
political views.
And the sad truth of it is, despite all those bold
promises we have, as you're well aware, the situation in
Darfur today.
We had Rwanda about 10 years ago.
And actually we now have North Korea as well.
So I'm going to get a little bit into the background here.
North Korea currently has about 23 million
people in its country.
Actually, closer to 24 million now as of last year.
It is a communist totalitarian state, which is weird because
it's the only communist dynasty in history where the
father has passed it on to the son.
It's not even, I think, a pure communist state.
It's essentially a cult.
It's a religion based around the founder, Kim Il-sung, who
was passed away about 10 years ago but is still the titular
leader of the country.
And it's a country that is very different from everything
else, I think, in the history of the world.
And I'll get into a little bit more about the details there.
And Kim Jong Il, as you're all aware and you're all familiar
from Team America World Police, is
now the current leader.
And he is lonely.
This is the Korean War that split the Korean
Peninsula into two.
So the south, you have a prosperous, democratic,
capitalist society.
And, in fact, if you know any Koreans or Korean-Americans,
we all trace our heritage from the south at least one
generation back.
Because if you're from North Korea, you cannot get out.
It's just a fact of the matter.
And this is Kim Il-sung, of course, the
leader of North Korea.
That's just gratuitous.
I should have taken that out.
That's Kim Jong Il, the current leader, with the Jiang
Zemin, the last president of China.

This is the border between North and South Korea, the
most heavily fortified border in the world.
I think Bill Clinton, when he was president, visited the
border and said it is the scariest place on Earth.
There are huge amounts of troop concentrations pointed
at each other between South and North Korea.
And, technically, the two Koreas as well as the US and
these other countries are still at war.
It's only an armistice.
It's technically a cease fire.
They are not at peace.
In fact, the United States doesn't even recognize North
Korea, and vice versa, as legitimate countries.

In the last 10, 15 years, about 2 million to 3 million
North Koreans died.
North Korea went through a series of famines and floods
from '94 to '96.
But the floods and famines in and of themselves
were not the problem.
At the time of the floods and famine, North Korea received
the most international aid of all the countries in the
world, a lot of it from the United States.
They had enough food, clearly had enough food, to feed its
people but did not.
In fact, what they did is--
since they got international aid they said, OK, well, let's
not feed the people with what we have to begin with.
Let's sell it on the black market.
Let's feed the military.
Let's do other things with that aid.
In fact, there are aid bags from the Red Cross or things
like that say, Gift of the American People, Gift to the
Japanese People, Gift to the EU, that have shown up on
black markets in Russia and China.
Also, there have been bags of heroin, which North Korea
exports, put into aid bags marked by the Red Cross and
used to smuggle out.
And so this is a country that clearly does not consider its
people as a vested interest. Kim Jong Il has been quoted
saying that only 10% of its country has to survive, only
10% has to survive, to be considered a successful state.
So if you're going with that standard, they're not doing so
badly right now.
But an estimated 10% of North Korea did perish in the last
10, 15 years.
About 13 million of all 24 million people in North Korea
are malnourished.
It's a medical state that--
essentially, you cannot recover from chronic
You cannot.
If you're a child from between the ages of maybe zero and
five, when you're first born you need to get regular food,
regular breast milk, nutrition.
Otherwise, you will get stunted permanently,
physically, in terms of your growth, in terms of your
height, your weight, and also mentally.
You will get mental retardation because you are
not able to eat functionally when you're a child.
And 13 million of North Korea's population is
currently like that.
The average Russian is 250 grams, which is a minuscule,
minuscule amount.
And most of the people actually don't
even get that ration.
The World Food Program supported 6.5 million people
in North Korea up until about a year ago when they got
kicked out.
And then now they've brought back in, they feed 1.2 million
people which means--
all these statistics, basically, what it means is a
lot of people are starving in North Korea.
Three times as many people starved in North Korea in the
last 10 years than did in the Ethiopian and Somalian famine.
And so this is a tremendous crisis that very few people
are aware of.
And the biggest distinction with this crisis
is that it's man-made.
It is not a result directly of a huge tidal wave, or a flood,
or an earthquake, or a natural disaster.
It is inherently man-made.
And that is why I think it warrants our attention a
little bit more.
A seven year old North Korean child is
105 centimeters metric.
And a seven year old South Korean child is 125
That's the average height between the two countries.
Now, these two countries were not
separated until about 1950.
They were one country for 5,000 years.
So they're the same DNA, the same genetic makeup.
But that's the height difference on average, just at
seven year olds.
Once you get older, the average height for the North
Korean military is around five feet solid.
For the military.
And even at the DMZ levels, you can see the major
distinctions between South Korean soldiers and American
soldiers, as opposed to North Korean soldiers.

In terms of health, there is no public health
infrastructure whatsoever.
The hospitals are overrun.
There's no electricity going throughout the country.
There's a lack of clean water.
And there's a huge, huge epidemic crisis with typhoid,
scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and diseases like dysentery.
Did anyone play Oregon Trail when they were
in elementary school?
AUDIENCE: You would die of dysentery.
ADRIAN E. HONG: You have died of dysentery.
That still happens in North Korea.
Weakened immune systems cause deaths from the common cold
because your system cannot fight it off, something we get
over with a night's sleep and Dimetapp, or Robitussin if you
don't like Dimetapp.
It kills people in North Korea.
They die from this, because there's a weakening immune
system because they don't get basic food every day.
And, finally, as I mentioned earlier there is stunted
growth and severe brain damage in a whole generation of North
Korean children.
So that is essentially the context, the background, of
the situation in North Korea without even getting into the
human rights situation.
Already, we're starting off from severely malnourished
No medical care and public health situation.
And everybody inherently is born and raised with stunted
immune systems and just health in general.
On the right, you see there are two North Korean refugees.
They're aged 21 and 22 years old.
On the left, that's myself.
So those two gentlemen are very, very, very
small for their age.
In fact, they were joking around.
They looked like hobbits.
And they were joking around about that.
But that's the result of a
generation of physical stunting.
And this is actually in one of our underground shelters in
China that I'll get into.
In North Korea, the only information that you get from
anywhere is from the government directly.
Outside radio, news, television, print media is all
banned which means the only source of information, whether
it's about history, current affairs, or politics, is from
Kim Jong Il and the leaders.
If you are caught reading or listening to outside radio,
whether it's South Korean or Russian or Chinese or
American, if you're caught reading outside magazines and
newspapers, if you're caught changing the wiring on your
television or radio so you can get outside broadcasts, you
are sent to a concentration camp.
That is a reality of what's happening in North Korea.
So you have a whole generation.
Back when we were talking about the Soviet Union and the
Cold War, you had Eastern Europe and you had the Soviet
bloc where there was an amount of propaganda and
brainwashing involved.
But you could always still turn the channel and listen to
Voice of America, or Radio Free Europe, or BBC.
And you could get an alternative view.
You could get a sense for what was really happening behind
the propaganda.
Not to mention the additional fact that many of the people
that were living during Stalin's reign and after that
had already been born and raised before that happened.
So they knew that the outside world was
not really like that.
And they bought into the propaganda just for
appearances sake.
In North Korea, it's been there for over 50 years.
And you have people that are born and raised in the system
and know nothing else.
So when you're talking about helping North Korea or
reunifying with North Korea, as the South Koreans say, or
engaging North Korea, you're dealing with 23 million people
that don't know what the real world is like.
It's literally like unplugging from the Matrix.
And it sounds like a corny analogy.
But it literally is that bad, where you have people come out
and they're shocked that there's cars
everywhere in America.
Or they're shocked that South Korea's not a victim of
nuclear holocaust. Or they're shocked that Americans don't
have horns, which actually North Korean children's
textbooks have Americans with horns and tails with
pitchforks, believe it or not.
That's how far the propaganda has gone.
And the fact that you have full grown adults believing
that and getting shocked that that's not the case says a lot
about their mental condition.
There are no freedoms of speech, religion, assembly,
movement, anything.
Every fundamental freedom that exists in the world, in this
country in particular, every fundamental freedom that is
guaranteed by the universal declaration of human rights
does not exist in North Korea.
Even saying, hmm, today's rations were not so great, is
enough to get you to a concentration camp.
In the past we've had refugees testify that they had been--
for example, there was a magazine with a
picture of Kim Jong Il.
And they put a cup down on it, and the
condensation left a ring.
That got them sent to a camp.
Another woman heard a South Korean pop song.
I don't know where she heard it.
She heard it somewhere, and started
whistling it to her friends.
Her three friends got sent to a mid-level labor detention
camp, and she was sent to a concentration camp.
The other thing that's severe about North Korea's system,
there's about 250,000 in the concentration camps now.
And, for example, if Christine were to commit a crime today,
and she said, oh, you know what?
Today's lunch didn't really taste that good.
That is interpreted as being, the state is not good.
The country is not good.
The leadership has failed us in one way or another.
And it's supposed to be a socialist paradise.
When she says that, she goes to concentration camps.
But Kim Il-sung has a principle that says three
generations must be punished for every crime to wipe out
the seed of dissent, which means her children and her
children's children, or her parents and her children, are
all sent with her.
North Korea is the only country in the last 200, 300
years that criminalizes children for political crimes.
Mao, Hitler, Stalin, they all did not throw children into
political camps.
They did it for ethnic reasons, but other things--
but for actions they did not.
If you're a second grader and you go, you know what?
It's kind of weird that Kim Jong Il gets all of our food
and money and we get nothing.
I mean, you're a second grader.
You're precocious.
You should say what's on your mind.
You will go to a camp, and you will send your parents and
relatives with you.
There's a gentleman named Hwang Jang-yop who's over 80
years old, who was the highest ranking North Korean defector
ever to leave that country.
He defected through Beijing and ended up in Seoul.
He lives essentially under house arrest, until now.
When he defected, 70 households, that means 70
families that were somehow related to him, were all sent
to concentration camps.
And so that is the impact of how it's like in North Korea.
When you meet any North Korean diplomats, if you're ever so
fortunate or not, they are always travelling in twos.
And they never have their family with them.
And the reasoning for that, obviously, is so they can keep
each other in check, and so that they don't defect.
Their families are essentially held hostage.
The same thing goes for Olympic athletes, for folks
that travel abroad for conferences and governmental
relations and things of that nature.

This is a map of the network of North Korean concentration
camps that we know of.
And many of these are accessible by our favorite
platform, Google Earth, as well.
In fact, that's been a tremendous tool in helping
spread awareness about these issues.
And these are just the known major camps.

Back during the holocaust, the excuse a lot of people made
was that we did not know, that it was outlandish and
ridiculous that human beings are capable of such things.
Gas chambers, human experimentation, Zyklon B.
They could not conceive of a government institutionalizing
and turning their energies to creating an infrastructure to
kill people in that huge number.
To have train lines going to concentration camps, to have
guards whose sole function was to kill people the fastest, to
recycle human hair, human bones, to remake goods for the
war movement.
That was ridiculous and inconceivable
for the outside world.
And obviously at the time, a lot of government officials
actually knew this to be true.
But after the war ended, the world was stunned.
After the war ended, people were in shock.
Allied troops that liberated Dachau and
Auschwitz were in shock.
They could not believe that human beings
were capable of such--
and I know evil's overused these days, but it is evil.
Today we have unbelievable amounts of proof.
11,000 refugees have come to South Korea, among them prison
guards and prison administrators, people that
used to run these camps that say, this is how many people I
had in my camp.
This is the product that we were forcing them to make.
This is how many public executions we had a week.
They've labeled each building to tell us what each building
was used for.
We know what time they wake up, what songs they're forced
to sing, how many steps they have to take around the
building when they're punished, and what the names
of the guards are.
We know that much detail and we have satellite pictures of
all the camps in North Korea.
That's the difference between today and maybe 1935 or 1940.
We have the awareness.
It's just a matter of a lack of will, or political will, to
make a difference about this.
In the camps in North Korea and in general, there is a
system of public execution.
If you commit a crime against the state that's warranted bad
enough to make an example of you-- say you try to escape
from a concentration camp, say you try to lead an uprising,
or say you just say one day, I'm tired of a
forced military draft.
The military draft in North Korea is over 10 years.
10 years.
That's 17, you go on for 10 years or more.
If you complain, you're tied up to a stake.
You're beaten up.
And they fill your mouth with rocks.
Does anybody know why that might be?

I'm sorry?
AUDIENCE: Dehydration.
They're already beaten up tremendously.
But, they're filled with rocks so they can't speak because if
you're about to get shot and publicly executed, you have
nothing to lose at that point.
You're going to speak your mind and say, this government
sucks, or our situation is not right.
This is not inherently, morally, or ethically right.
So they fill their mouth with rocks, and then they tie it
into a post and they publicly execute them.
We actually have videos.
I have some available, if you want to see it, of public
executions in North Korea.
The other thing they do in concentration camps is that
they make the family of the victim or the accused come up
and stone him to death before they shoot him.
And they make every single person in the concentration
camp come up, pick up a rock, and throw it at the guy in
order to say, we agree with the state.
You have committed a crime.
We are purging you from our society.
If you do not, you will be strung up next to him.
That is the way North Korea's created the system.
You're either with them or against them.
And if you're against them, you die.
There are no champions speaking on their behalf.
There's no underground dissident movement.
There's no revolution.
There are no outside governments or agencies of the
UN speaking out for them or saying, today four more people
were executed.
Last week, 200 people died in concentration camps.
It's just not there.
There are forced rapes and abortions in these camps.
In particular, when women come back from China-- and I'll get
into why they end up in China to begin with.
If they come back pregnant, they're assumed to be a child
of mixed race, of mixed heritage, probably with
Chinese blood.
And North Korea's official state policy, believe it or
not, is of a pure Korean race where they say, if you are a
child of mixed heritage we will kill you.
If a woman comes out pregnant from China, they will forcibly
abort the baby.
In a hospital and sanitary conditions, they use a syringe
filled with salt water.
And if that doesn't work, they kick the woman's stomach until
the baby dies.
And if that doesn't work, they wait until the baby is born,
put it in a box, and let it die out of exposure.
That's the way they do this, weekly, on a weekly basis, in
North Korea.
In fact, when Hines Ward--
if you're familiar with the Pittsburgh Steelers MVP for
the Super Bowl.
When he won the Super Bowl, South Korea was
fanatical about him.
They said, look, he's so great.
He's one of our sons, and we're so proud of him.
North Korea actually went as far as to issue a public
statement that said that they condemn South Korea's love
affair with mixed race, and that they-- what did they say?
One drop of mixed race in the Han River will not dilute
5,000 years of racial purity.
The government issued a statement saying this.
That's the kind of system we're dealing with.
It's unreal.
It's something we watch in movies or we see on the
History Channel.
It's happening right now in 2007.
Infanticide, as I mentioned earlier, is
widespread in that country.
Hot boxes.
It's literally a box just the size of a human body where you
crouch down.
And you cannot move, and it's just in the sun.
And you bake there forever.
They leave you out there for weeks if you do anything
that's seen at any hint of rebellion when you're in a
concentration camp.
Defectors have testified that they would sit in these boxes
for weeks burning their flesh because, obviously, they can't
move and it's made of metal.
And any bugs and caterpillars and rats that would scurry by,
they would grab and eat.
And that would be the only way they could survive.

Gas chambers.
There are strong allegations of gas
chambers in North Korea.
Several defectors that have left have actually brought out
paperwork detailing the details of glass chambers that
are made of glass, so that scientists can study what
effect the gas has on families that are put in there
together, for example.

One story, personal anecdote that I have. We were with a
bunch of defectors that came to Washington, DC.
And we were helping them tell their stories.
And they were all arm wrestling each other.
They were like children.
They were all arm wrestling each other.
And then one guy just was destroying everybody else
hands down, easily.
And then he said, the reason I'm so strong on my right hand
is that when I was a child, they forced us to cut down
wood every day.
He grew up in a concentration camp, essentially.
So his right arm is incredibly strong because he would have
to cut wood all of his life.
There was another defector that's now 16 years old that
is now in the United States.
We brought him out ourselves.
He pointed out on Google Maps a cultural center, a museum,
and a school that he went to.
He pointed out his house.
And then he told us a huge complex, a factory, down the
street from his school was built by them
in elementary school.
Every day they wouldn't study math or science or history.
They would walk out and march down the street, and dig in
coal mines every day at the age of 10 and 12.
And they had to literally build this camp.
This is the way that the society has
been in North Korea.
"At the camp, I witnessed public executions, forced
labor, and other inhumane atrocities.
A new prisoner in the North Korean political prison camps
is taught not to consider themselves as human beings.
The prisoners cannot complain of beatings or even murders.
Even the children are subject to forced labor, and about one
third of them die of malnutrition and heavy labor.
I also suffered from malnutrition after being
imprisoned, lacking even the strength to walk.

I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating
gas and dying in the gas chamber.
The parents, son and a daughter.
The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last
moment they tried to save the kids by doing
mouth-to-mouth breathing.

Later-- in 10 years, or in 60-- it will surely turn out
that quite a lot was known in 2004," or now 2007, "about the
camps of North Korea.
It will turn out that information collected by
various human rights groups, South Korean churches, oddball
journalists and spies added up to a damning and largely
accurate picture of an evil regime.
It will turn out that there were things that could have
been done, approaches the South Korean government might
have made, diplomatic channels US government might have
opened, pressure the Chinese might have applied.

Historians in Asia, Europe, and here will finger various
institutions, just as we do now, and demand they justify
their past actions.
And no one will be able to understand how it was possible
that we knew of the existence of the gas chambers, but
failed to act."
And again, these are more satellite
pictures of the camps.
This is Yodok camp, which is by far the most notorious.
The Auschwitz, basically, of North Korea.
And, again, the 250,000 people in there now and the half
million that died in the last 30 years, they've
committed no crime.
These are not criminals, murderers, rapists, arsonists.
These are basically citizens that have expressed a little
bit of discontent, or wanted to practice Buddhism, or any
religion outside of what the state has practiced, or one
day did not show to re-education class.
Every week, every person in North Korea has to get in
their little small group.
The whole country's regimented into small groups.
And you have to criticize each other.
Mutual criticism sessions, where you tell the other
person what you did wrong that week against the state.
And he corrects you and says, comrade so and so, the dear
leader would not like it if you did this, back and forth.
Everybody is an informant in that country.
Everybody is an informant.
In fact, if you don't report on someone else's crimes or
someone else's descent, you will also go to a
concentration camp.
So it's very well known in that country that these are
places from where you cannot return.

There are about 400,000 North Korean refugees hiding in
China and other countries.
If you were in North Korea today, most likely you would
want to leave unless you were one of the military elites or
the political elites.
And so they obviously try to leave across
the border into China.
Now, the border between China and North Korea is a river, at
some point is no wider than from here to
that door over there.
And at some points, it's only up to knee height.
So the average person can probably sneak out.
Every 50 meters along that border, if you ever visit
there you'll see them.
There are little bunkers of wood with North Korean
soldiers sitting there pointing at China.
For any refugees that might run across, they literally
shoot them in the back and that's it.
If the Chinese authorities will catch you, they will send
them back to North Korea.
North Korea's constitution, their actual law, criminalizes
leaving the country without permission.
That's a UN universal human right, freedom of movement.
But in North Korea, you cannot leave without permission.
You can't even leave your hometown.
If you run out of food or your electricity doesn't work or
there's no clean water, you will die.
If you know for a fact the town next door-- literally if
it's 50 meters away, if the border's right there you
cannot go over and get food or water.
It's criminalized.
You need a permit, an actual permit, from the government to
leave your town.
To leave the country is treason, no matter why you
leave. If you accidentally got drunk and stumbled over, if
you were hungry, if your little sister ran across and
you went back to get her, or if you were trying to defect,
whatever your reasoning was, if you leave that country
you've committed treason and it's punishable by death in
that country.
Which means that we have about half a million North Koreans
running around in the underground in China and
Russia and these other countries, Thailand, Vietnam,
that are in hiding from their authorities.
And China, actually in particular, hunts them down
and sends them back to North Korea.
Amnesty International has reported that they're wired
through their collarbones.
Because they can't afford handcuffs, they literally wire
them through their collarbones, put them in
trucks, and send them back.
Other refugees have told us that they literally put barbed
wire through their palms and then tie them.
And we've had refugees show us their scars
here in their hands.
And they actually mark them physically so they know how
many times they've been caught.
That's the reality of what's happening in that border there
at this moment.
These refugees, as I mentioned, are repatriated to
severe punishment.
An estimated 70% to 90% of the women among these refugees are
sexually trafficked.
And they're sold on the black market, sometimes for as
little as $100.
Refugees have testified that they've been sold several
times over.
If you're younger and more attractive, you're sold for a
higher rate.
If you're older and less attractive,
you're sold for less.
And they basically use them and discard them.
Refugees have told us that they got into a cab.
They cross into China somehow.
They got into a cab and they said, I want to go to the
embassy, or I want to go to this church, or I want to go
to my relative's house.
The cab driver picked up their accent, realized they were
North Korean, and drove them to a warehouse
and sold her off.
What do you do at that point?
You can't speak the language.
You can't go to the police because they'll send you back.
There's no choice.
There's no solution at that point.
There are other situations where they go into a
And the restaurant pretends to take them in and
says, you know what?
We'll take care of you.
Have some soup.
Get some rest. And in the morning, we'll take you to a
church and they'll protect you.
The soup was drugged.
They wake up tied to a pole in the basement.
That is the reality of what's happened to over 70% of these
women out there.
So when we talk about sex trafficking, when we talk
about human rights violations, when we talk about
concentration camps, it is all happening in North Korea today
to a tremendous, tremendous degree.
Among these, many of the children are also trafficked.
If you go to, for example, the train station in northeastern
China you'll get swarmed by little kids coming up to your
waist asking for money.
Every now and then the Chinese government cracks down and
sends them all back to North Korea as per their
arrangement, where they're put into camps or severely,
severely punished for what they've done.
Another problem we have is this.
There's a huge shortage of females in Northeastern China,
females of marriageable age.
Does anyone know why that is?
AUDIENCE: Sex selective abortions.
The one child policy has resulted in sex selective
abortions, feticide and infanticide.
So basically, as of 2010, China will be short by an
estimated 30 million females.
30 million females.
I mean, 30 million guys are going to be needing wives.
And so as a result, there's black market, trafficking
market has created, where you're bringing in people from
Thailand, from Burma, but also in huge
numbers from North Korea.
Now, I'm not saying all these unions between Chinese males
and North Korean females, or North Korean males and Chinese
females, are loveless and they're all trafficking.
That's not the case.
There are many situations that we know personally even where
a Chinese male has been very, very noble
and just a good guy.
And they fall in love and they have children.
The problem with that is even if they legitimately married
with a Chinese citizen, that woman is illegal for life.
Even if they have a child and the child's father is a
legitimate Chinese citizen, he is illegal for life.
He cannot go to school.
He cannot get a job.
And he cannot get medical care.
There is no life whatsoever in that country.
If you're one or two years old, that's OK.
You can sit at home, play with your mother.
If you're five, six, you need to go to school.
If you're 10, 12, or 18, you need to get a job and get out
of the house.
There's a whole underclass in China, several hundred
thousand of its people that cannot move, cannot leave
their homes, cannot do anything, anything at all.
And so to address this, LiNK has actually opened up about
50 underground shelters throughout the region where we
have our staff members that go in there and literally hide
refugees, just like you would imagine in Anne Frank's attic
under the bookcase.
And they bounce around different shelters whenever
one gets raided.
That's the only solution we can think up outside of having
the Chinese government change their policy.
And I'm sure we're all aware here of how
difficult that is to do.

The International Convention on Refugees defines a refugee
as, "a person who is outside his or her country of
nationality or habitual residence, has a well-founded
fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion,
nationality, membership in a particular social group or
political opinion, and is unable or unwilling to avail
himself or herself of the protection of that country, or
return there for fear of persecution."
All this fancy talk basically means, you cannot go back to
your home country because you will be killed or punished.
All of these refugees in China effective
fall into that category.
And so, the UNHCR, which is a UN agency that deals with
refugees, should by all rights go into China, find these
people, give them a certificate, and say they're
refugees, and protect them from
repatriation of North Korea.
It does not whatsoever.
There is no agency in the world that is protecting North
Korean refugees right now.
There are limited amounts that have escaped, whether they
crossed on foot all the way to Mongolia or Thailand or other
countries that might let them out, or somehow they've gotten
the guts to jump a fence into an embassy, like the Spanish
embassy, and ask the Spanish to send them to the US or to
South Korea.
But by and large, most of these people are just rotting
away in basements.
They cannot do anything because the Chinese government
will hunt them down, especially in advance of the
2008 Olympics when it's China's time to shine on the
world stage.
So these people are literally being chased down and being
hunted and sent back in large numbers at the moment.
This is the border between China and North Korea.
If you look here, this tiny little bit of
water, that's the river.
That's the Tumen River.
So you can imagine how easy it is for a refugee that's living
across the river and starving or being persecuted to cross
over into China.
And China, to them, is a whole new world.
It's shocking when they hit China.
They see the amount of cars and television and media.
The fact that you have more than one channel on TV, the
fact that you have more than one type of cheese in a
I mean, it's shocking to them.
They're stuck in a time warp.
So the transition from there to South Korea is huge.
And then from there to the United States is tremendous.
It's life changing for them.
About 400,000 of these people are living
out there right now.
Back before the Civil War in this country, we had something
called the Fugitive Slave Act.
Does anyone know what that is?
It feels like class.
OK, sure.
He does know.
Essentially, the northern states were free.
The southern state had slaves.
And so many slaves escaped from their plantations to the
north, to places like Connecticut and New Jersey,
and declared their freedom that they had.
The southern states rebelled and said, we want you to pass
Fugitive Slave Act which basically said, if a slave
would escape to the north we will send them right back to
where they came from.
And what would happen when they got sent back?
They would be tortured.
They would be raped.
Or they would be killed.
It was not illegal to kill your slaves at that time.
It's a dark chapter in American history.
It's a time when we compromised our morality for
the sake of political stability, I would say.
And it's happening again.
This is just exactly what South Korea, what China, and
what a lot of these countries are doing.
They are sending back refugees or taking in only minimal
amounts and discouraging them from coming for the sake of
good diplomatic relations with North Korea.
This is a detention center in China.
This picture was taken by myself.
And I'm not particularly ninja or CIA-trained.
Literally, we just went up there and took a picture.
That's how real and accessible this is.
This is where they processed North Korean refugees before
they're sent back to North Korea proper.
We know for a fact that several people have died there
because we've counted the number that have gone in.
And fewer numbers have come out.
In fact, the mother of one of our activists in China also
perished here.

This is a North Korean defector who was formerly a
member of Kim Jong Il's joy team.
Kim Jong Il, and it sounds ridiculous, has a squad of
about 2,000 women split up into three categories--
happiness, satisfaction, and joy team.
They make up singers, dancers, gymnasts, and also people that
[? perform, ?] obviously.
It's essentially his personal harem.
And she escaped when she was on the Pyongyang's official
gymnastics team.
And she came out to testify at the United States about this.
We've had defectors testify in the senate.
This woman on the upper left, she is the one that sung a
South Korean pop song and got sent to a prison camp, for
whistling a South Korean pop song.
These people have testified in agencies throughout the world,
with the US Senate, the House of Representatives, the United
Nations, the European Union.
And nothing is being done for them.
Nothing at all.
And I can say that very clearly.
There's nothing being done for these people.
So LiNK initially started as a reaction to this.
When you hear about these things, your first reaction
is, wow, that really sucks.
Your second reaction is, well, someone must be doing
something for this.
So I'll just help them.
That's how we started.
And we discovered that nobody was doing anything about this.
And if they were, they were using human rights as
a means to an end.
And we felt that we needed to be a movement purely for the
sake of human rights.
So we started out very in the typical
amateur grassroots way.
And we had some concerts for them, benefit concerts.
We had protests.
We had defectors speak.
This is outside the Chinese embassy--
the Chinese Mission, actually, in New York to the UN.
And they usually shut down and lock up, and kick us out when
that happens.
We had artists starting to prepare art for this cause,
and major forums where we had defectors speak about their
experiences all over the country.
And since then, we've actually broached out 200 chapters
worldwide, all the way in Australia, South Korea, EU
countries, and throughout the United States and Canada.
In the last three years, we've actually developed a great
deal beyond that to where we got a little bit more
About a third of what we do is based on advocacy, a third of
it is based on awareness, and a third of it is on
underground work.
And I'll get into that in a minute.
This is a protest we did in front of the
South Korean UN mission.
Does anyone have a question why we would do that in front
of the South Korean mission?
After all, it is a capitalist free society.
They are not actively running concentration camps.
The reasoning for this is that South Korea's government has
instituted something called the Sunshine Policy, where
they give unconditional amounts of aid to North Korea
and don't ask where it goes.
If you give cash up to billions of dollars, if you
give huge amounts of food, grain, medicine to North Korea
and don't ask them who's getting it, can we monitor the
food, obviously they're going to be using it
for legitimate means.
Beyond that, the South Korean government has censored
defectors from speaking out publicly.
They've actively worked to discourage groups like ours
from speaking publicly in South Korea, and prevented
getting visas to defectors that wanted to go leave the
country to testify about this.
In other words, the South Korean government is clamping
down on human rights dialogue to prevent bad relations with
North Korea.
And so we had a protest.
This sign says 22 million is more important that Tokto.
Tokto is an island between Korea and Japan.
It's uninhabited.
It's maybe the size of Googleplex.
And Japan and South Korea have basically declared diplomatic
war against each other over an island.
I understand it's important.
It is Korean territory.
It comes with fishing rights and mining rights.
But there are no lives on that island.
The South Korean president to date has said not a single
word about North Korean human rights.
We've briefed a congressional delegation going from this
country to South Korea to meet with them.
And they asked him, why has your government not taken a
stance on human rights in North Korea?
And the president of South Korea's answer was, it is a
peripheral issue.
The rights of 22 million, now 24 million, Koreans, a third
of all the Koreans on the planet, is a peripheral issue.
Concentration camps, mass starvation, malnutrition,
public executions, is a peripheral issue.

And so generally you can separate our work, as I
mentioned earlier, into three different categories.
The first category is advocacy.
We do briefings of governments worldwide.
I just met with the Canadians, and the French,
the European Union.
We travel all throughout the world.
I was at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
We were trying to exhaust all available diplomatic resources
to get this resolved because we're not advocating more
military intervention.
We're advocating saving their lives.
And our point is that what's happening in North Korea
constitutes crimes against humanity.
By the legal definition, it does.
A lot of people ask me, what makes North Korea different,
or why we picked North Korea?
And it's not because I happen to be Korean.
And, in fact, I think that there are lots of just and
noble causes throughout the world that are happening.
We need to get ourselves involved in Darfur.
Its three, four years too late.
We've called it a genocide for years and we
haven't done anything.
Similar situations are happening in
eastern Europe, in Tibet.
Throughout the world, there are minorities being
persecuted for no reason besides their race, religion,
or political views.
And there are lots of crises.
Katrina happened in this country.
We have epidemics here in this country and South America.
And the tsunami, you had saw an outpouring of support.
The difference between North Korea and all of those
situations is that nowhere have I ever seen, and you can
say I'm biased, so much of a concentrated, incredible,
institutionalized, deliberate human rights violation as in
North Korea.
There's not a tsunami that we couldn't predict, and then we
try to react and we fail.
It's not a failed state when there's a civil war and two
warlords are fighting for power.
It's not a disease that rampages throughout society,
and the government's too weak to stop it.
It's deliberate.
They don't need to build these concentration camps.
They don't need to publicly execute citizens.
They have enough food to feed the people.
They got huge amounts of aid from all
countries in the world.
They do not get that food to the people.
It's a deliberate, slow motion death.
It's deliberately wiping out their own population for
political reasons and to stay in power.
And that is what makes North Korea so different from
everything else.
It's entirely 100% man-made.
And as a result, if man doesn't do something to stop
it, I think it's on our conscious more than a tsunami
would be or a tornado or an earthquake or a disease that
we could not necessarily stop altogether.
North Korea does not need to be doing this in any way.
Even strategically, there's no real justification for these
human rights violations.
But so long as the rest of the world doesn't say anything
about it, so long as the United States and China and
the European Union and the UN never bring it up, they will
continue to do this.
And, basically, we will not get in there
until they've all died.
And that's just the fact of the matter.
So we continue to do briefings all over the world.
We do policy objectives where we push different governments
to take refugees in, to talk to the North Koreans about
human rights, to help refugees resettle and
speak out in public.
In terms of awareness, we've had about 100 chapters
throughout the world as of last November.
We do a lot of mainstream media outreach.
We're working on, for example, Hollywood, that does movies on
North Korea, push them to make sure they include an element
on human rights.
We try to get it out there in a common culture so people are
talking about it.
And in terms of action, as I mentioned before we have
something called Project Safe Haven, which is a network of
several dozen underground shelters in China.
These are run by 20, 30 year old something Americans mostly
that go in there, sneak in basically, and they work in
the underground hiding refugees.
And sometimes you have to move them from shelter to shelter.
For example, last year we had a teenage boy, two of them
actually, that were on a train going to a different shelter
because they have to move so they don't arouse suspicion.
The conductor asked them for their IDs.
They didn't have them.
And they got sent back to North Korea.
So it's very, very dangerous.
We also have projects that feed North Korean children
inside North Korea.
We feed about 500 a month, obviously without the
government knowing that it's us doing it.
And we also have something where there's about 15,000
North Korean forced laborers outside of North Korea, in
democracies actually, in some of them.
We have about 11,000 currently in--
I'm sorry, 3,000 currently in Russia.
North Korea owes a huge amount of debt to Russia, but it
doesn't have anything to pay it back with.
So what they did is they actually sent 3,000 slave
laborers to Siberia to cut timber all day long.
And they're guarded by North Korean guards.
It's essentially a North Korean prison
camp colony in Russia.
And Russia is a country that the US deals
with all the time.
Similar things are happening in China, Mongolia, Libya,
Madagascar, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
There's 15,000 of these workers.
And countries like the Czech Republic and Poland are
democracies and members of the EU.
In fact, we went to the Czech Republic, went on site to find
these camps.
They interviewed the girls.
Actually, there were about 372 girls from 18 to 22.
We interviewed them, talked to them about their
They could not leave the embassy.
At night they went to their group housing.
They did not get paid.
The pay that they received went straight to the embassy.
Essentially, they're slaves.
And they're in countries that we have good relations with as
the United States.
So we've talked to them.
And as of last May, they actually shut that down.
There are another 15,000 throughout the world that are
waiting for somebody to do something about.
And finally, we actually actively run underground
railroad operations, myself included, where we will take a
group of refugees that's ready and wanting to leave the
country to go to South Korea or the United States or
anywhere else.
Obviously, they have to be at a mental state where they're
ready to do so.
But if they are and if we think we can do it without too
much risk-- there's always risk, but without too much--
we go on an operation and we try to get
them out of the country.
That's what we did in October.
And we succeeded in bringing the first three North Korean
orphans ever into this country.
They're now enrolled in American public high schools.
One of them is taking hip hop classes at the Y. I mean,
their lives are completely, completely different,
completely different.
And that shows, honestly, how easy it is to make change,
because we're not especially trained.
We don't have $1 million behind us.
We're not agents of any government.
We're just amateur grassroots people that are doing this.
But it's managed to save lives.
And that's one of the points that I wanted to stress today,
is that we need to band around to do this.
Similarly, last December we had the same attempt where
there were six North Korean refugees that we were trying
to get out.
And it did not work.
It was very effective.
We got very far.
And at one point-- you know in movies where you rob a bank
and it goes, [DRRRING],
and then the swat cars pull up and there's 300 soldiers and
guards and everyone?
That's literally what happened.
And three of my activists, including myself and six of
our refugees, all got arrested and were
put in Chinese prison.
This isn't to brag about that I've done time,
and we're hard core.
More so than that, it's the fact that the Chinese
government criminalizes helping these refugees, which
is a violation of international law.
And frankly, just conscience.
It's just wrong to be doing this.
And these refugees are sent back by hundreds or 200, 300 a
week into North Korea where they face, basically, certain
torture and death.
The refugees that were caught with us in December are
actually still in prison today.
We were released for reasons that are still unclear to us.
Other activists that have done the same work, even if they're
American citizens, are still in Chinese prisons.
Several of them were tortured.
One was released last Thanksgiving with syringe
marks all over both arms. And he still experiences severe
hallucinations at night when he's sleeping.
He thinks he's back in prison and starts punching his family
members trying to escape.
This is a travesty.
It's an atrocity.
And it's going along for too long without the
world paying attention.
And if you have any questions about that, we can get into
that later.
But I'm going to wrap up this presentation.
A lot of people say, why are you hurrying this?
Why are you trying so hard to make this happen?
And my parents, in particular, say this.
Why don't you finish going to school, getting a family,
making a lot of money, and then do
something for the cause?
And Langston Hughes once wrote, "I tire so of hearing
people say, let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread."
This is one of the protests that we've done outside of the
South Korean UN Mission.

This is a contrast between the celebration and tears over
South Korea not making it to the quarterfinals of the last
World Cup in Germany, and the 23 million North Korean that
are suffering as a result of general apathy.

And a lot of people say, why are you
talking about human rights?
You're working against peace.
You're going to cause war.
You're going to cause destabilization.
And there's a quote by the Dalai Lama that
addresses this perfectly.
It says, "Peace in the sense of the absence of war is of
little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold.
It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a
prisoner of conscience.
It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in
floods caused by senseless deforestation.
And peace can only exist where human rights are respected,
where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations
are free."
And these are diplomats walking right by our
demonstrations into their offices.
Finally, "As long as one dissident is in prison, our
freedom will not be true.
As long as one child is hungry, our life will be
filled with anguish and shame.
What all these victims need above all is to know that they
are not alone, that we are not forgetting them, that when
their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, and that
while their freedom depends on ours the quality of our
freedom depends on theirs.
Our lives no longer belong to us alone.
They belong to all those who need us desperately."
This is Elie Wiesel.
He's actually a Nobel prize winning author.

That guy right there.
He is a survivor of Auschwitz camp.
He's a Holocaust survivor, very well-known.
He's actually based out in New York.
And his argument is very clear.
We are not truly free until everybody is free.
And the people that are not free need to know that we are
doing something for them.
I know this firsthand after what I
experienced in December.
Being in the prison sucks, especially a Chinese prison.
But knowing the fact that people outside knew I was in
there and that they were doing something for me, even if it
would take 20, 30 years, the fact that they were thinking
about it kept me going, frankly.
And I was't in there for very long.
I was in there for 10 days, but it wasn't years.
Now, there are defectors and refugees and activists that've
been there for decades, people that have been born and raised
in a concentration camp.
These people are assigned numbers, are taken away of
their names, and they're told that they're not even human,
that they're dogs, that if you die today no one will notice.
Now, if you're born or raised in that society--
it's an atrocity that we have to account for, that we have
to answer for.

Finally, there's one last story.
And I'm very fond of quotes.
I'm sorry for doing this too long.
But you're all familiar with the Good Samaritan story.
It's in the Bible.
It's part of, I guess, Judeo-Christian culture, where
there's a guy that's basically beaten up and lying on the
side of the road.
And a priest and a Levite walk by him, and just look at him
and keep going.
They don't bother to help him.
And then a Good Samaritan--
a Samaritan, he was on the marginalized part of society--
stopped to help him, and washed him up, gave him a
bath, gave him lotion, healing creams, and
sent him on his way.
And there was a point to that parable was that you should
help your neighbor.
Martin Luther King talked about this parable, but
articulated it a little bit differently.
And I think it applies here.
He said, "And you know, it's possible that the priest and
the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered
if the robbers were still around.
Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the
ground was merely faking.
And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order
to seize them over there, and lure then over for a quick and
easy seizure.
And so the first question the Levite asked was, 'if I stop
to help this man, what will happen to me?'"
And that's a question many of us ask in the world.
If I take my time out for this cause, whether it's North
Korea or Darfur or after school education, if I do this
what will happen to my job, my time, my
personal health, my fitness?
What will happen?
"But then the Good Samaritan came by.
And he reversed the question.
If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
And that's, I think, it's a fundamental difference in how
we can think about these situations that will make us
actually do a little bit more.
The situation in North Korea, I have no doubt one day that
these concentration camps will be liberated.
I have no doubt one day that North and South Korea may
reunify, that we'll be able to take tourist trips.
Some of us already have. But wider scale, free access
tourist trips to North Korea, meet North Koreans, have them
come over, work here, go to local schools.
I know that will happen one day.
My question is, how many people will die
before we get there?
And the direct answer to that is not when Kim Jong Il gives
up, is not when the next US president presses the North
Koreans or the Chinese.
The answer to that is when we, as a people, as a country, as
a culture, stand up and do something about it.
And our organization is incredibly small.
Right now, I have 10 full-timers.
For three years, I had two full-timers.
Those 10 actually joined on, I think, two months ago.
And nobody gets paid.
Everybody works pro bono.
We have no formal training whatsoever.
But we've been able to save countless lives of refugees.
We've been able to accomplish a lot diplomatically just
because we're talking about it, because nobody else is.
And in a democracy like this one that's all you need, is
voices and constituents saying, we care about this.
But until that happens, these people will continue to be in
this situation.
And every man is guilty of all the good that he didn't do.

Finally, I'm going to show--
I'm sorry.
This is the group of the orphan boy
that I mentioned earlier.
That's clearly me.
And my mom said, why do you even bother?
That looks like you.
But these are three North Korean orphans that are 14,
16, and 17 years old.
They are the first ones to come out of North Korea to
this country.
This one in the middle, when he was 12 years old he woke up
and his mother had just disappeared.
His father had already passed away, actually of starvation.
His mother just disappeared one morning.
About a couple weeks later, his sister disappeared and all
of a sudden he was homeless.
His neighbor sold his house.
And he was homeless in the streets of North Korea for
three years, just walking around selling firewood that
he would get on the street.
Then one day he said, you know what?
Forget this.
I'm going to cross over into China.
Somehow, as a 15 year old, he crossed over into China, ended
up in our shelters.
And last October actually, we had an underground mission
where we were hiding from the police, and we actually
brought him out.
And now he's here.
These are success stories.
These are lives that are fundamentally changed.
And for him, he can do anything with his life.
He can be the next Martin Luther King.
He can be a teacher.
He can raise his own family.
His life is fundamentally changed forever.
There are 400,000 more of him hiding in the underground in
China with no one to speak out on their behalf.

If you're interested in learning more about what we
do, our organization website is Our blog is
If you have personal questions, you can
bring up and ask.
I have business cards as well.
But essentially what we're asking is not for you to just
know about the situation.
There's going to be a time five, 10, 20 years later when
your kids will come home from school, or your grandkids, and
say, mom and dad, did you know about this?
We just spent a chapter learning about the North
Korean human rights crisis.
What did you do?
And at that point, we won't have the excuse about saying
that we didn't know what happened because you just
heard me blab on about it for 40 minutes.
And the excuse of ignorance will not be there anymore.
We have satellite pictures.
We have witness testimonies.
And the excuse of nobody asked me to do anything won't be
there either because I'm asking you now to please help.
At that point I think as a society, as a culture, as a
world, we'll have some accounting to do because this
is a failure of humanity.
This really is.
It's a situation where human beings do not need to die.
But they are in huge numbers, in huge numbers.
Even if it was one person dying unjustly, I think it
warrants our intervention.
But when it's 24 million suffering, when it's 500,000
in prison camps, and when it's hundreds of thousands of
refugees being sold on the black market, I think it
warrants our immediate attention and action, whether
it's politically convenient or not.
Whether we alienate China and our business interests or the
United States and its administration and stability,
it does not matter.
Ethically, morally, and consciously, in terms of our
conscience, this is the right thing to do, is to do
something for these people.
To close with, I'm going to show a short video clip about
two minutes long of our underground shelters in China
so you can get a visual of what we mean when we talk
about shelters in the underground.
All the people in this footage are actually still there in
the underground in China.
We have not yet been able to get them out.
And personally, I am banned from China for five years, so
our underground operations are on hold for a little while.
Can we turn up the sound please?
ADRIAN E. HONG: If you'd like to get involved in helping out
with the situation, please again check the website,, and sign up for the Listserv. We do have
times where we need, literally, massed manpower for
petitions, advocacy work, and things of that nature.
Specific things we need, nobody in the office gets paid
and that's OK.
The funding goes directly to our shelters.
But you'd be surprised how little we get a month.
It's literally a couple grand a month that funds 50
underground shelters, underground operations,
briefings with different governments, all of that.
Which means a little bit more money can make a huge
difference and can literally save lives.
I had a refugee come to me, and he was about 30 years old.
He was very sheepishly looking at me the whole time like he
wanted to say something and he didn't.
And I asked someone else with him, does he
want to ask me something?
And he said, yes.
He said, he cannot see.
He cannot cross the street because he's almost blind,
that he wants to know if I can get him some glasses.
So I was like, of course I'll get him glasses.
I was thinking LensCrafters, $70.
He says, it'll cost $4.
For years, he could not walk across the street properly
without an escort because he couldn't see, because his
eyesight was so bad because of a lack of $4.
And that's a situation that they're in.
And the refugees that I showed you in their pictures, 14, 16
years old, I asked them-- after I got arrested and the
six refugees are still in prison, obviously I had a
moral crisis where I was thinking, is the
right thing to do?
Six people are now in prison because of this.
And I asked them, what if you had gotten caught
while trying to escape?
How would you have felt?
Would you have been upset?
Would you have regretted it?
And he said, one day in America is more than a
lifetime in Korea, is more than North Korea, is more than
years in China.
He said that at any time they would have a little bit of fun
and start laughing, they would all of a sudden have to stop
themselves for fear of getting reported by the neighbors.
That they could not get a good night's sleep because they
would wake up with nightmares that Chinese guards had come
in to arrest them, that's the reality for these people.
In terms of things we need, if it's in your heart
to donate, you can.
If you'd like to help out an advocacy, you can.
Even specifically with Google, about 80%, 90% of these
concentration camps are just blurs on Google Earth.
We cannot see them.
And I know that recently in the news there's been
announcements of partnerships with nonprofits where you get
higher resolution pictures, satellite imagery, for some of
these sites.
For example, in Darfur with the Holocaust museum.
Those are some things we need because we can say, go to this
location on Google Earth.
But there's nothing there.
You can't see anything.
And that's a huge tool to promote awareness and
engagement from the grassroots.
There are lots of specific things like
that if you have questions.
But I know we're short for time, so maybe we'll take one
or two questions.
Yeah, one or two questions and then we'll break for lunch.
Does anybody have any questions or-- yes?
AUDIENCE: Why isn't this a bigger deal in South Korea?
Why isn't there just mass uproar?
ADRIAN E. HONG: Good question.
The question is, why it this not--
is this mike on?
Why is this not a bigger deal in South Korea?
Why is there no national uproar?

The easiest answer for that is that South Korea likes its
economy as it is.
It went through some hardship in the '60s and '70s.
It had the IMF crisis in the '90s.
And now they're actually the 10th largest
economy in the world.
And their reasoning is if we harass North Korea about human
rights, they will destabilize, they will declare war, they
might attack us.
Or even if they collapsed, their refugees will come to
South Korea and become basically a huge welfare
The argument is entirely based on economy and on stability.
That's what it is.
You would think that South Koreans would be the most
active given the fact that they're literally blood
brothers and sisters, literally.
In fact, some of them came from North Korea in the '60s
and immigrated here, or to South Korea.
But the South Korean government for the last 15
years has clamped down on information to where, believe
it or not, after sitting through this you now know more
than average South Korean grad students on this issue.
In fact, we had a lecture at the Center for International
Studies in South Korea and they didn't know about
concentration camps happening 15 minutes north of them.
So that's the situation that the South Korean
people are in as well.
So I think it's up to the grassroots everywhere else
that know about this to do something about it.
Any other questions?

Well then, Christine?