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Staff & Interns
Shruti Nallappa
Shruti Nallappa Research Intern Summer 2021
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Shruti Nallappa graduated with a degree in Global Affairs, a minor in Korean Studies, and dual concentrations in Global Governance and Human Security from George Mason University in December 2019. As an Intern for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), she hopes to learn about North Korean refugees and best practices to assist them, and about North Korea's economy, education, and security sectors. Shruti previously served as an intern for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) in Washington, D.C., where she worked closely with the Legislative Director and Foreign Affairs staff. She has also studied at George Mason University Korea and the University of Oxford in England where she obtained a certificate in history, politics, and society. Shruti is now pursuing her graduate studies at The George Washington University where she will be obtaining an MA in International Affairs with a focus on the Africa region and humanitarian assistance.

Jiwoo Hwang
Jiwoo Hwang Research Intern Summer 2021
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Jiwoo Hwang is a rising sophomore in Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to different countries, including due to her father’s job as a diplomat. After meeting a teenage defector at a seminar hosted by her family friends, her interest in North Korea grew. As an intern of HRNK, Jiwoo hopes that she can learn more about the current situation in North Korea and more about the detailed history of the Kim’s reign. She also looks forward to reaching out to the ones suffering in North Korea.

Amber Nguyen
Amber Nguyen Research Intern Summer 2021
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Amber Nguyen is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, double-majoring in Psychology (BS) and Legal Studies, with a minor in Political Science and currently pursuing a Criminal Justice certificate. She recently realized her interest in North Korea after visiting the HRNK office in Washington DC. She is interested in the field of criminal justice with a focus on psychology, as she aspires to provide quality psychological counseling for inmates in order to rehabilitate them in place of indefinite incarceration. Amber has experience working with human subjects as part of her job as a research assistant in a Developmental Psychology lab at her university, and she hopes to continue accumulating experience working with other individuals in different environments to foster a more well-rounded skill set. Amber also wishes to learn from her peers and scholarly resources that HRNK provides to further understand the complicated regime of North Korea.

Lia Vincenzo
Lia Vincenzo Research Intern Summer 2021
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Lia Vincenzo is a first-year student at Northern Virginia Community College, with the goal of transferring after her first year. She is currently studying Korean. Her interest in North Korea began after living in Seoul with her family for nine years. She is excited to learn more about North Korea, its human rights situation, and HRNK’s effort to draw attention to these abuses. 

Diletta De Luca
Diletta De Luca Research Intern Summer 2021
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Diletta De Luca is a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam. After a Bachelor of Sciences in Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics, she is now studying international relations focusing on East Asia. Her passion for research and human rights made her discover HRNK years ago, and now she is very excited to be part of the team. As an intern, she hopes not only to research and advocate for human rights issues in North Korea, but to also expand the outreach of HRNK at the European level as well. In the future, Diletta dreams to continue to research authoritarian governments for the promotion of democracy and freedoms.

David Shaw
David Shaw Research Intern Summer 2021
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David Shaw is a current graduate student in Georgetown University’s Applied Intelligence Master’s program. After graduating from University of Richmond with degrees in Political Science and History, he gained experience working with Congressional representatives, experience which he has carried into his work on outreach for HRNK.  His studies at Georgetown also closely mirror his work with HRNK’s satellite imagery analysis team. He believes that, in spite of the dramatic headlines and major geopolitical issues caused by the Kim regime in North Korea, it is vital to remember that under all the turbulence, there are real people enduring incredible suffering at the hands of the current rulers, and the ultimate goal of any effort aimed at creating change in North Korea should be centered around the mission of attaining freedom and security for its citizens.

Ella Startt
Ella Startt Research Intern Summer 2021
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Ella Startt is a third-year student at King’s College London, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in War Studies and Philosophy. After visiting North Korea in 2019, her interests in the country’s human rights issues increased as a result of experiencing the numerous mechanisms used by the Kim regime to promote a utopian image of North Korea to foreigners and the consistent denial of human’s rights abuses. 

As an intern at HRNK, Ella aspires to conduct more research to further understand her experience in North Korea, as well as gain insight on the different workings contributing to the survival of the Kim regime. As she aims to possibly work in Conflict resolution and Peace building on the Korean Peninsula, she hopes that during her time at HRNK, she will be able to gain greater insight into the realities currently undermining Korean reunification, and learn more about the current paths being pursued in negotiations between the international community and North Korea on its Nuclear arms program. 

Scott Cho
Scott Cho Research Intern Summer 2021
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Scott Cho is a junior at Georgetown University, pursuing a major in Science Technology and International Affairs as well as the pre-med track. As a Korean-American living his whole life in the United States, he has always been intrigued by U.S.-North Korea tensions. His active involvement in Georgetown University's THiNK (Truth and Human Rights in North Korea) club and a particular event that hosted North Korean defector Oh Chong-song led him to his internship at HRNK. As he pursues the pre-med track, Scott hopes to one day provide medical assistance to North Korean refugees while also utilizing his international relations education to stimulate political advancements within the United States' government. During this internship, he hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the human rights crises in North Korea and hopes to strengthen his motivation to help North Korean refugees one day.

Claire McCrea
Claire McCrea Research Intern Summer 2021
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Claire McCrea is first-year student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies pursuing a master’s degree in International Relations with a concentration in Korea studies and human rights. She studied Korean at Ewha Womans University in 2017 through a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) fellowship and again in 2019 through a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. While an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, she conducted research on the role played by U.S. foreign policymakers in combating human rights abuses in North Korea as well as on the culture and politics of Chongryon (or the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan). As a research intern at HRNK, Claire hopes to play a direct role in promoting human rights in North Korea and begin her career in human rights advocacy.

Michelle Dang
Michelle Dang Research Intern Spring 2021
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Michelle Dang is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College, pursuing a degree in International Relations with a particular focus on peacebuilding, dispute resolution, and transitional justice. She recently developed an interest in the discourse surrounding the mass incarceration of the North Korean people subject to intense labor prison camps and seeks to explore possible avenues for the relief of said human rights abuse. Michelle has done various policy briefs on ongoing conflicts such as the Afghanistan war in her undergrad research and looks forward to shifting gears to East Asian conflicts. She hopes to bring her unique background and insights into the work of HRNK while preparing herself for the future with what she is able to learn from the incredible scholars and staff members of HRNK.

Irene Kang
Irene Kang Research Intern Spring 2021
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Irene Kang is a sophomore double majoring in East Asian Studies and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Her interest in North Korea began early on while living in various U.S. Army bases across South Korea. Her broad interests include sociolinguistics, defense policy, and cultural anthropology in East Asia and Russia. Prior to her current position, Irene studied abroad in Japan and served as a program representative for U.S.-South Korea-Japan intercultural exchange and relations. In addition to interning at HRNK, she is currently an officer of LiNK JHU, an English tutor for refugees, and a researcher for Harvard Medical School. At HRNK, Irene aims to conduct research to increase accessibility and interest in shaping alternative policy strategies toward North Korea. She hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy in the future.

Juheung Kim
Juheung Kim Research Intern Spring 2021
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Juheung Kim is a rising senior at Centre College, pursuing double majors in History and French. Since Juheung grew up in a city in China that borders North Korea across the Tumen River, he observed how communities gathered effort to help North Korean defectors and became aware of the ongoing crisis. During his college years, he has been interested in understanding the context of Cold War history since the Korean War was the event that alerted the global conflict to the rest of the world. Juheung is looking forward to pursuing modern history studies that will enable him to understand his nation more thoroughly. As a research intern, Juheung is eager to be part of the effort for freedom in North Korea, and he hopes to deepen his understanding of the connection between the past and present of the Korean peninsula.

Sandra Scarlatoiu
Sandra Scarlatoiu Research Intern Spring 2021
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Sandra Scarlatoiu is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College receiving a double major in Political Science and Dance.  Her previous work experience includes a fellowship with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and a position as an assistant for the Graduate Program at Mount Holyoke College, both positions including extensive work with video editing for social media assets.  She is interested in promoting and expanding the message of HRNK.

Kathy Yu
Kathy Yu Research Intern Spring 2021
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Kathy Yu is an undergraduate student at Duke University, where she is pursuing a degree in Economics and History. She first became interested in North Korea’s humanitarian crisis by studying the Korean war and listening to the stories of North Korean escapees. She has recently become involved with LiNK, and she hopes to contribute towards developing the organization at her university. In the arena of international politics, human rights are often shunted to the backburner. She finds this to be an egregious issue and is dedicated to advocating for the prioritisation of human rights. As an intern, Kathy hopes to broaden her understanding of North Korea and contribute to vital research to work towards her goal of combating human rights violations at all levels. 

Caroline Ward
Caroline Ward Research Intern Spring 2021
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Caroline Ward is a junior at American University, studying International Studies and Korean with a focus in peace, global security, and conflict resolution in East Asia. In her undergrad research, she analyzed discourses in American media surrounding North Korea’s human rights abuses. Through this process, she learned about the severity of the humanitarian crisis in North Korea which drove her to become involved in the issue. Through her work at HRNK, she hopes to continue advocating for human rights and expand her knowledge of North Korean relations.

Lauren Morrison
Lauren Morrison Research Intern Spring 2021
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Lauren Morrison is a senior at American University, pursuing an BA in International Studies with a specialization on US Relations & Foreign Policy in East Asia and the Pacific. She currently serves as the President of Zaron Asia-Pacific Research Club, a student run organization that promotes Asia-Pacific cultures and studies. Her interest in North Korean topics began after listening to speeches of North Korean refugees online in high school. This interest progressed during her academic studies of the region. Throughout her studies she has focused on policies towards the Korean peninsula and China. As an intern at HRNK, she hopes to gain more knowledge on the human rights aspect of North Korea and hone her research skills at the same time.

Margaret Gillett
Margaret Gillett Research Intern Spring 2021
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Margaret Gillett is an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester, where she is pursuing a degree in East Asian Studies and in International Relations. She has had a long-standing love of East Asian history and culture and a deep interest in international affairs.  She decided on her major declaration during an incredible experience studying abroad at Korea University in Seoul during the summer of 2019. Margaret is excited to develop more specialized knowledge about the Korean Peninsula, North Korea, and Human Rights through her internship with HRNK. 

Yeji Chung
Yeji Chung Research Intern Spring 2021
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Yeji Chung is a third-year student at George Washington University, pursuing studies in political science and journalism. Hoping to become a human rights journalist one day, she had joined Amnesty International and other various human rights organizations. Now, she is an active opinion writer for the school newspaper, The GW Hatchet, and hopes to use this experience and writing skills to contribute to the team. At HRNK, she hopes to research and understand many social issues in North Korea as well as publishing research articles. 

Madeline Hieneman
Madeline Hieneman Research Intern Spring 2021
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Madeline Hieneman is a second-year graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. She currently serves as the Chair of the Education Committee for HanVoice, a Canadian organization advocating for North Korean human rights and change on the Korean peninsula. During her time at HanVoice, she has led a team of researchers and completed research on the nexus between international security and human rights in North Korea. A native of Kentucky, Madeline graduated from Morehead State University with bachelor’s degrees in history and international studies. She studied abroad and taught English in South Korea. As an intern for HRNK, Madeline hopes to expand her knowledge on North Korea and looks forward to working with colleagues also passionate about North Korean human rights.

Audrey Gregg
Audrey Gregg Research Intern Spring 2021
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Audrey Gregg is a recent graduate of New York University, where she studied economics and Korean and served as the vice president of Freedom for North Korea, a student-run organization that seeks to raise awareness of the human rights crises in North Korea through conferences and educational events. She currently works as a freelance translator with Daily NK, and formerly with 주성하TV, a YouTube channel created by Joo Seong-ha, a North Korean defector and journalist at Dong-a Ilbo. 

Audrey has been interested in the politics and history of North Korea for many years, and hopes to someday apply her analytical background to a career in the field. As an intern at HRNK, she is excited to contribute to invaluable research that will be used to inform policy toward North Korea and help advocate for the 25 million people living north of the DMZ.

Seshni Moodley
Seshni Moodley Research Intern Spring 2021
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Seshni Moodley is a LLB (Bachelors of law) graduate and is currently studying towards her LLM (master’s degree) in human rights law.

The mass human rights violations are what sparked her interest in North Korea. She was especially interested in the inhuman treatment of the women in North Korea. The devastating human rights violations experienced by the women in North Korea prompted her to act by joining this organization.

The violation of women’s rights is a prevalent issue on a global scale that has worsened over the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This necessitates more action to be taken towards the eradication of these violations.

Damian Reddy
Damian Reddy Research Intern Winter 2020
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Damian is a Law graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is also an admitted attorney in South Africa. He is currently completing his Master of Laws degree in Human Rights and intends to focus his final thesis on the human rights violations being perpetrated in North Korea and the duty of the international community in uncovering and prosecuting such violations as crimes against humanity. Damian believes that we are all world citizens. An injustice that happens in one part of the world should not be viewed as an isolated event. Instead, it should be seen as an offence to us all. If one more voice can be added to the cry against injustice, then it is one more chance to make a difference and bring about positive change. As an intern at HRNK, Damian hopes to gain a deeper understanding on the extent of the human rights situation in North Korea; the path needed to promote peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and to simply gain a broader understanding on human rights around the world. Personally, Damian would like develop his research and writing skills to be able to contribute to the international community in matters of human rights. 

Rick Herssevoort
Rick Herssevoort Research Intern Winter 2020
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'Rick Herssevoort is a fourth-year student at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, pursuing a B.A. in European Studies with a specialization in politics and international affairs. Having always been interested in the Korean peninsula, the contrast between the two Koreas, and its history, he had the privilege of studying abroad for a semester at the University of Seoul. Through his internship, Rick hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the severe North Korean human rights issues and how to best help raise awareness and advocate for the human rights of the North Korean people. As a European Studies student and EU citizen, he hopes to advocate for human rights at EU institutions as well. In the future, Rick aspires to become a diplomat or work at an NGO promoting peace, democracy, and human rights worldwide.

Jungeun Lee
Jungeun Lee Research Intern Fall 2020
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Jungeun Lee is a senior at McLean High School in Northern Virginia. Living in Korea for 14 years, she learned about North Korea’s humanitarian situation for years. In elementary school, she started to participate in small but meaningful activities, such as the Piggy Bank Campaign and knitting scarves for the escapees. After witnessing their hardships and as a young Korean interested in science, she believed that science education would be a fundamental building block for reconstruction. Through the HRNK internship, she hopes to gain more in-depth knowledge about North Korea and further aims to contribute to the Korean unification process as a science lecturer.

Doohyun Kim
Doohyun Kim Research Intern Summer 2020
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As a defector who miraculously escaped North Korea, Doohyun KIm seeks to fight for freedom and human rights alongside HRNK. He knows firsthand the operations of the North Korean government and the human rights it infringes on. His father died in a North Korean prison camp. He was sentenced to eight years, but died after two, and Doohyun could not claim his father's body until the full eight-year sentence was complete. It is a ruthless government, and the people suffer under such rule.

Doohyun is well-suited to help North Koreans because he knows their needs and understands the pain and struggles of defecting. He will be an asset to HRNK because of the experience and knowledge he has gained as a North Korean defector. Fighting for human rights for North Koreans is his mission in life. Doohyun is thankful to HRNK for fighting for human rights for North Koreans as a North Korean defector. He is eager to contribute his skills and apply his expertise at HRNK.

Doohyun is a senior at Utah Valley University, majoring in Global Politics. He also, studied at Seoul Cyber University in South Korea, majoring in Business Administration.

Another interesting fact: He is a YouTuber; his channel is called "Escaping Paradise."

Hayoung Paik
Hayoung Paik Research Intern Spring 2020
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Hayoung Paik is a master’s student at the University of Maryland’s College of Education, majoring in International Education Policy. Her specialization is Education in Emergencies and Conflicts. As a Korean who lived in Japan for almost 20 years, Hayoung has always been aware of the significance of South Korea-North Korea-Japan-US relations for the stability and peace in East Asia. Her further interest in human rights violations in North Korean education and its role in maintaining the current regime led her to the internship at HRNK. Taking advantage of her Japanese language proficiency and educational background, Hayoung would like to deepen her understanding of international relations surrounding East Asia, human rights issues in North Korea, and conflict resolution in the Korean peninsula with emphasis on education. Hayoung holds an M.A. and B.A. in English literature from Tohoku University, Japan.

North Korea’s Potential Long-Term  Prison-Labor Facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동)
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Aug 26, 2021

Through satellite imagery analysis and witness testimony, HRNK has identified a previously unknown potential kyo-hwa-so long-term prison-labor facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동) P’ihyŏn-gun, P’yŏngan-bukto, North Korea. While this facility appears to be operational and well maintained, further imagery analysis and witness testimony collection will be necessary in order to irrefutably confirm that Sŏnhwa-dong is a kyo-hwa-so.

North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M. Oh, & Rosa P
Jul 22, 2021

"North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update" is the latest report under a long-term project employing satellite imagery analysis and former political prisoner testimony to shed light on human suffering in North Korea's prison camps.

Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea: The Role of the United Nations" is HRNK's 50th report in our 20-year history. This is even more meaningful as David Hawk's "Hidden Gulag" (2003) was the first report published by HRNK. In his latest report, Hawk details efforts by many UN member states and by the UN’s committees, projects and procedures to promote and protect human rights in the DPRK.  The report highlights North Korea’s shifts in its approach

Embargoed until 12:01 a.m. February 25, 2021.  South Africa’s Apartheid and North Korea’s Songbun: Parallels in Crimes against Humanity by Robert Collins underlines similarities between two systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly discriminatory repressive systems. This project began with expert testimony Collins submitted as part of a joint investigation and documentation project scrutinizing human rights violations committed at North Korea’s short-

North Korea's Chŭngsan No. 11 Detention Facility
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Dec 21, 2020

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in the DPRK (more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison and detention facilities throughout the nation. This study endeavors to both establish a preliminary baseline report and detail activities observed during 2002–2020 at a detention facility variously identified by former prisoners and researchers as the “Chŭngsan No. 11