Home > Staff & Interns
Staff & Interns
Alena Nosel
Alena Nosel Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Alena Nosel is a third-year student at American University majoring in Asia, Pacific, and Diaspora Studies (APDS) and minoring in Korean language. As a Research Intern at HRNK, she looks forward to helping increase worldwide consciousness of North Korean human rights violations and learning the ins and outs of non-governmental organizations.

Her interest in North Korean human rights issues stems from her identity as a third-generation Cuban American, recognizing the significant overlap between their respective operations of authoritarian regimes. At American University, she has advanced her knowledge of North Korea through taking courses like "K-Pop in North Korea" and "Visual Culture in Korea," writing documentary analyses, and attending escapee testimonies. She is excited to attend Yonsei University in Fall 2024 to continue her APDS studies and expand her appreciation of Korea's global influence as its cultural and innovative exports shape modern society.

After finishing her education, Alena hopes to work under UNESCO, where she hopes to promote diverse cultural representation on the World Heritage List by contributing unsung perspectives.

Faith Osinloye
Faith Osinloye Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Faith Osinloye is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Global Affairs at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, where she aims to deepen her knowledge in international relations, diplomacy, and human rights. With a background in Global Studies and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to human rights, social justice, and cross-cultural communication. Her academic and professional journey includes leveraging social media and communication skills to amplify the voices of marginalized groups.

As a research intern at HRNK, Faith is eager to evaluate the effectiveness of human rights interventions and advocacy strategies relating to North Korea. She also hopes to better understand the methodologies used in human rights research and reporting to effectively highlight the issues facing the Korean Peninsula. Through this work, Faith aims to contribute to HRNK’s mission of promoting human rights and fostering positive change.

Maria Fernanda de Almeida
Maria Fernanda de Almeida Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Maria Fernanda de Almeida is pursuing her Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. Her academic journey reflects a profound dedication to advancing global development and human rights causes. Since completing a Bachelor of Arts (High Honors) in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto, she has contributed significantly to research and academic publications, mainly focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Asia issues. Her commitment to research excellence was acknowledged with the 2021 UofT Excellence Award for Continuing Opportunities in Research Experience.

Professionally, Maria has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills in digital engagement and strategic communication. As a previous Research and Partnerships Assistant at the Munk School and the Ontario Institute for Educational Studies, she conducted and collaborated on extensive research and facilitated funding opportunities. Additionally, Maria's leadership skills and advocacy interest were evident as Secretary & Events Manager at Internationali Negotia, where she coordinated Model United Nations (MUN) training and managed national and international events for MUN conferences.

As a research intern at HRNK, Maria is eager to delve into the dynamics of human rights in North Korea and explore its ramifications on the global landscape. With her experience in digital platforms and unwavering passion for advocacy, she aims to amplify the organization's efforts in promoting human rights and fostering positive change on a global scale.

Gary Tetreault
Gary Tetreault Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Gary Tetreault is a first-year Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Previously, he completed a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in International Relations and Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese studies. He was also an assistant language teacher in the JET Programme based in Tottori, Japan.

During his internship at HRNK, Gary aims to deepen his knowledge of contemporary issues in North Korea. He intends to apply his primary focus on Asian security and global policy to the challenges in North Korea. Gary seeks to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of U.S. policy towards North Korea and to explore the security implications of human rights violations on the Korean Peninsula.

Alexander Kim
Alexander Kim Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Alexander Kim is a rising senior at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, pursuing a degree in international affairs and economics with a concentration in international economics in East Asia. Having dual citizenship in the Republic of Korea and the United States sparked his interest in the U.S.-ROK alliance. During his military service in Gangwon Province, he developed a deeper interest in the human rights of North Korea. Alexander worked with the government of the Republic of Korea during President Yoon’s state visit to the United States in April 2023 and the U.S.-ROK-Japan Trilateral Summit at Camp David in August 2023. Previously, Alexander worked as a monitoring agent at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. This involved monitoring fifteen U.S. newspapers that were focused on the Republic of Korea, North Korea, and East Asia and writing daily reports.

During his internship at HRNK, Alexander seeks to learn about the role of NGOs in promoting human rights in North Korea. He hopes to gain a wider perspective on North Korea and gain more expertise about economic sanctions and their relationship to the human rights situation in North Korea. Passionate about contributing to peaceful solutions for international conflicts in East Asia, Alexander hopes for a peaceful Korean Peninsula.

Ray Matsumoto
Ray Matsumoto Research Intern Spring 2024 ~ Summer 2024
Read Bio

Ray Matsumoto is a master's student of history at Washington State University specializing in modern Japanese history, East Asian foreign policy, and the politics of war memory. He previously completed his bachelor's degree at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in Philosophy and the History of Science and Mathematics. 

Ray's interest in North Korea stems from his discovery that his grandfather was a Zainichi Korean (Korean in Japan). As a Japanese national born and raised in Japan who attended international schools, Ray had a strong interest in international relations and global history from early on. However, this discovery inspired him to explore modern Japan and Korean history, and pursue a research fellowship at Pacific Atrocities Education (PAE), a non-profit organization that advocates for victims of atrocities in the Asia-Pacific region. At PAE, he published a book on the history and contemporary significance of Imperial Japanese propaganda. 

Through the internship at HRNK, Ray hopes to expand his understanding of contemporary human rights issues in North Korea and gain experience working in the foreign policy sector. In addition, he plans to transfer this experience to his scholarly work on Zainichi Koreans and their relationship to North Korea during the postwar era. 

Jongjin Lee
Jongjin Lee Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Jongjin Lee is a master’s student studying international relations at Syracuse University. He graduated from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China with a BA in English. He is interested in international security studies, especially East Asian regional security, and U.S.-South Korea-Japan trilateral security cooperation.

While living in China, he became intrigued by China’s role regarding North Korea when he observed that many North Korean laborers were working there, despite UN sanctions. During his master’s program, he learned about North Korea’s Lazarus Group, cyberattacks, and China’s provision of infrastructure such as hotels to North Korean hacker units, which further increased his interest in this field. Through this internship, he hopes to gain specialized knowledge and skills in international security and North Korean human rights.

Andrew Chan
Andrew Chan Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Andrew Chan is a first-year Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Prior to this, he graduated from the University of Toronto Mississauga in June 2023 as an Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction, with a specialist degree in political science and history.

As a research intern at HRNK, Andrew hopes to learn more about the role of NGOs and research organizations in tackling pressing global issues, such as human rights in isolated authoritarian states like North Korea. He is passionate about human rights issues and global security, and is very interested in the foreign affairs and international diplomacy, which intersect with these topics. The unique and isolated situation of North Korea is something that Andrew strongly believes merits more understanding, and he wants to further explore the area of human rights in North Korea during his internship.

Wu Yang
Wu Yang Research Intern Spring 2024 ~ Summer 2024
Read Bio

Wu Yang is a first-year graduate student at the University of Toronto where he is completing a Master of Global Affairs degree, along with a Collaborative Master's Specialisation in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies. He previously completed a Bachelor's degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in Political Science and International Relations and minoring in History.

Wu's interest in North Korea initially stemmed from curiosity about the country's extreme isolation, and this interest eventually became intertwined with others in foreign affairs and political thought. Visits to South Korea on diplomatic missions gave him a glimpse into how North Korea's presence continues to loom large in the region despite its isolation, and he is also keenly passionate about the role of ideologies in political communities and their relationship with human rights, believing that ideological developments play an important part in justifying repression. Having prior research experience on China, Wu hopes to learn more about China's relationship with North Korea and its role in North Korean human rights issues.

Ada Trybuchowska
Ada Trybuchowska Research Intern Spring 2024 ~ Summer 2024
Read Bio

Ada Trybuchowska is a Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy (University of Toronto). She is particularly interested in digital advocacy, human rights, and security issues. She graduated from King's College London with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, where her dissertation focused on women's rights and the abortion ban in Poland. She also earned the Associateship of King’s College.

Professionally, Ada has dedicated herself to roles that enhance digital engagement and strategic communication. As a Social Media Associate and now Co-Editor-in-Chief at Global Conversations, she is committed to addressing global issues and contributing to meaningful change through informed dialogue and advocacy. Additionally, she has engaged in volunteer work supporting Ukrainian refugees and soldiers, and served as a delegate for UN Women UK, participating in discussions on technological innovation and education.

Ada's main interests include the convergence of technology, education, and human rights, and the broader implications of international policies on human rights practices. At HRNK, Ada hopes to deepen her understanding of human rights dynamics in North Korea and utilize her digital skills to amplify the organization’s advocacy efforts.

Valerie Johnson
Valerie Johnson Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Valerie Johnson is a first-year master’s student at Lund University in Sweden, seeking a degree in Human Rights Studies. She particularly focuses on human rights access, international development policy, and good governance. Her interest in the East Asian region was sparked by teaching English in South Korea for nearly three years. This experience offered her a firsthand understanding of the complexities of inter-Korean relations and motivated her to pursue graduate studies in human rights.

In her academic work, Valerie explores issues affecting marginalized communities, with a particular interest in the rights and conditions of sexual minorities, incarcerated youth, and disabled individuals in North Korea. This research interest will likely shape her master’s thesis in the following academic year. Valerie’s internship at HRNK marks a strategic step toward immersing herself in the critical study of human rights issues in North Korea, with the aim of contributing to research that aims to enhance access to human rights. She is committed to advocating for strategies and interventions that address the urgent human rights challenges facing marginalized communities in East Asia and beyond.

In the long term, as a researcher and advocate, Valerie aspires to amplify the voices and stories of the North Korean people, fostering a deeper global understanding and humanizing the narrative surrounding their lives.

Gayeong Lee
Gayeong Lee Research Intern Spring 2024
Read Bio

Gayeong Lee, a senior at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, is majoring in Political Science and Diplomacy while double majoring in BRICs Business and Economics. Her keen interest lies in International Relations, she is especially intrigued by the complex relationship between South Korea and North Korea.

As a research intern, she hopes to analyze the political and economic conditions in North Korea that have led to the human rights issues in that country. Additionally, she aspires to delve into the economic, political, and social issues within both South Korea and North Korea, as well as the broader international dynamics surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

Samantha Garcia
Samantha Garcia Research Intern Winter 2023
Read Bio

Samantha Garcia is a first-year Master's student at Ewha Women's University, specializing in Developmental Cooperation with a keen interest in international law and gender studies. Her interest in East Asia began during her undergraduate years at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she earned her bachelor's degree in International Criminal Justice. Throughout that period, she concentrated on North Korea and the prevalent human rights issues in the region. This focus prompted her to intern with various U.S.-ROK NGOs, providing her with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced in the field.

Motivated by these experiences, Samantha enthusiastically applied for and was accepted to the Global Korean Scholarship. Her dedication is reflected in her desire to continue her undergraduate passion, focusing on the human rights crisis faced by North Korean women in the prison systems as the central theme for her master's thesis. As a Research Intern at HRNK, she aims to further expand her knowledge and contribute to the strengthening of U.S.-ROK relations.

Colleen Burns
Colleen Burns Research Intern Winter 2023 ~ Spring 2024
Read Bio

Colleen Burns is a senior at American University pursuing a degree in international studies with a thematic focus on justice, ethics, and human rights within East Asia. As the daughter of an immigrant, Colleen has always found herself interested in international studies, finding herself drawn to a regional focus on East Asia. She chose East Asia due to a lack of exposure to the region in her previous education and a desire to widen her perspective on global affairs. While studying abroad at SOAS University of London, Colleen expanded on her interests in East Asian politics through a class focused on North Korea’s modern history, deepening her interest in the connection between human rights, history, and contemporary North Korean politics.

As a research intern at HRNK, Colleen hopes to further expand on her knowledge of North Korea and the promotion of human rights. She also strives to help shine a spotlight on human rights issues in North Korea, especially those regarding gender issues. Following graduation, Colleen envisions working for an NGO focused on advancing human rights and rights related to gender issues.

Katherine Mitchell
Katherine Mitchell Research Intern Winter 2023
Read Bio

Katherine Mitchell is a third-year University College London (UCL) student seeking a degree in History and Politics, and she is currently undertaking her exchange year at Cornell University. Katherine traces her interest in North Korea to a formative trip to South Korea. What she saw and experienced looking out at the DMZ kindled a passion for human rights advocacy in relation to the treatment of North Koreans.

At UCL, Katherine’s interest in political advocacy led her to the United Nations Society and Amnesty UK. During her time at Cornell, she has undertaken steps to further her interests, including taking classes that concern human rights law and Korean history. In her final year at UCL, Katherine intends to pursue a dissertation that studies how U.S. actions toward North Korea can better focus on the human rights of North Korean citizens. To this end, she has sought out an internship with HRNK in parallel with the second semester of her year abroad at Cornell.

Ryan Rohrbach
Ryan Rohrbach Research Intern Winter 2023
Read Bio

Ryan Rohrbach is a third-year student at the University at Buffalo, pursuing degrees in Political Science and International Studies with an East Asia concentration. Ryan’s interest in studying East Asian politics comes from the lack of exposure he had to international politics, specifically in Asia, as a kid growing up in a small farm town. Along with intensive Korean-language study through the Department of State Critical Language Scholarship program, he took classes on foreign policy analysis, international relations in East Asia, and authoritarian regimes at Korea University in Seoul.

While studying abroad in Seoul, he spent three days with North Korean escapees during a program organized by South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense. Reflecting on this program showed him the importance of addressing the North Korean state, the North Korean people, and North Korean escapees institutionally and societally in a productive manner. He believes that organizations such as the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea are invaluable in achieving this goal. Ryan is looking forward to pursuing his interests in security studies, East Asian international relations, U.S.-Korea relations, and development and human rights in North Korea at HRNK and in a future graduate school program.

Annie Heitmeier
Annie Heitmeier Research Intern Fall 2023
Read Bio

Annie Heitmeier is an honor student and senior at Michigan State University, majoring in international relations with a double minor in Korean language and Asian studies. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master's degree in security studies.

Annie studied abroad at Yonsei University in her junior year, taking graduate-level courses in humanitarian law and human rights. While abroad, she also worked as an advocacy intern at Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights. As an advocacy intern, she did extensive research on enforced disappearances committed by the DPRK and worked directly with families of the forcibly disappeared to raise awareness about their cases. This internship made her passionate about a career in North Korea policy and made her decide to apply as a research intern at HRNK.

Her main interests are in the realms of human security, nuclear proliferation, and regional conflict and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula. In her role as a research intern at HRNK, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea while honing and enhancing her analytical research skills.

Jiwoo (Katie) Choi
Jiwoo (Katie) Choi Research Intern Summer 2023
Read Bio

Jiwoo (Katie) Choi is a junior at Jericho Senior High School. As a Korean citizen who is deeply invested in North Korean human rights, she wants to support North Korean escapees and help raise awareness of the seriousness of the human rights situation through her internship at HRNK.

She first came across North Korean issues through YouTube videos that discussed the everyday life of the North Korean people. Her interest in North Korea deepened after she attended a seminar at Columbia Law School, hosted by the Permanent Mission of the ROK to the UN, on the topic of North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights abuses. Inspired by this seminar, she wrote an essay that compared the corruption levels of North and South Korea and argued that the abject poverty that North Koreans face gives rise to a vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, and repression.

She hopes to learn more about various aspects of the situation in North Korea, including poverty, corruption, humanitarian aid, and the freedom of expression. This will inform her personal efforts in her community to help improve the human rights situation in North Korea.

Gloria Guo
Gloria Guo Research Intern Spring 2023
Read Bio

Gloria Guo is a senior studying International Relations and Law & Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC). She is passionate about human rights, U.S.-Asia relations, and international law. Gloria first learned about North Korea when she traveled to Yanji at the age of 13, where she met a perceivable number of North Koreans working at local restaurants. She grew more passionate about North Korean human rights issues when she joined Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) at USC. During her undergraduate studies, Gloria has taken several classes on international security, U.S.-Korea relations, and human rights law. As a Research Intern, Gloria hopes to further her understanding of North Korean human rights issues and bring her unique insight and skills to HRNK.

Rachel Baek
Rachel Baek Research Intern Winter 2022
Read Bio

Rachel Baek is a junior at Leigh High School. During a 2018 trip to the Odusan Unification Tower, she caught a glimpse of North Korea for the first time through a telescope and became curious about the conditions there. Since then, she has researched inter-Korean relations and the North Korean diaspora with the goal of understanding human rights issues. She is excited to build on her interests through this internship.

Haeun Moon
Haeun Moon Research Intern Winter 2022
Read Bio

Haeun Moon is an undergraduate student at Harvard College concentrating in Social Studies and Philosophy. She is a Korean-born immigrant, and the issue of human rights is a deeply personal one. From a young age, she questioned why people who share the same language, history, and culture were separated by an arbitrary line. Her family’s experience with the human rights violations of the North Korean government sparked an interest in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in North Korea. This has led to a broader interest in human rights, ranging from the immigrants detained at the southern border of the United States to Afghan refugees.

In the summer of 2022, Haeun was an Oslo Scholar with the Human Rights Foundation, working with NAUH, a Seoul-based non-profit that advocates to defend human rights in North Korea and help those who escape. She spearheaded an international social media campaign in this capacity to raise awareness of the North Korean human rights crisis. Furthermore, she conducted research on UN, EU, and U.S. policies since 2016 related to North Korean human rights, carrying out a comparative analysis on the impact of these policies. These experiences further substantiated her passion for North Korean human rights. She plans to write her senior thesis on inter-Korean relations, with an emphasis on approaching reunification with a focus on North Korean defectors.

Haeun hopes to attend law school after graduation to study international and immigration law, directly serving the disadvantaged members of our communities while pushing for fundamental changes to the system. She is continually reminded of the fact that we all share a common future, and wants to help shape a hopeful future that includes and embraces more people.

Through her internship with HRNK, she hopes to deepen her understanding of the North Korean situation by being embedded in the daily geopolitical happenings, as well as the latest intellectual advancements regarding the North Korean human rights crisis.

Tessa Aguilar
Tessa Aguilar Research Intern Fall 2022
Read Bio

Tessa Aguilar is a fourth-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is majoring in Political Science with minors in Global Studies and East Asian Studies.

Since high school, Tessa has been passionate about East Asian Studies, particularly Korean culture and diplomacy. This past summer, she studied abroad at Yonsei University in South Korea, which left an unforgettable impact on her studies. Her driving factor in becoming further involved with HRNK was hearing a North Korean defector speak during a class session. Tessa is also writing her senior thesis on various levels of cooperation within international relations theory and governance, using South Korea and Japan as a case study.

Learning more about the humanitarian dilemma in North Korea will help Tessa further explore the intersection between Korean politics and methodological theory. As a Research Intern at HRNK, Tessa hopes to gain direct exposure to human rights issues in North Korea as well as how the North Korean government influences the international environment. She aims to return to South Korea in the future to continue her postgraduate studies and pursue international law.

Kate Refolo
Kate Refolo Research Intern Summer 2022
Read Bio

Kate Refolo is a recent graduate from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Studies and a minor in Philosophy. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the Cultural Studies Medallion of Academic Excellence during her senior year. She became interested in North Korean Human Rights and North-South Korea relations many years ago after watching a documentary about North Korean defectors’ escape experiences.

During her junior year at Villanova University, Kate studied abroad at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. At her study abroad orientation, she had the opportunity to listen to a North Korean defector’s escape story. This experience sparked her interest in the integration of North Korean refugees into South Korean society, and she decided to pursue this topic as her senior capstone thesis project. This project has inspired her to continue researching and advocating for North Korean human rights.

In January 2023, Kate will be returning to South Korea to teach English through the Fulbright program. While in South Korea, she hopes to have the opportunity to volunteer with and tutor North Korean defectors.

Valerie Xu
Valerie Xu Research Intern Summer 2022
Read Bio

Valerie Xu is a rising second-year graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations with a concentration in States, Markets, and Institutions in Asia. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2021, with a double major in International Studies and East Asian Studies, both with honors, as well as a minor in Psychology. She became interested in the Korean Peninsula after taking courses such as “History and Culture of North Korea,” “Korea in the World,” “Korean War,” and “North Korea, Identity, and International Politics.” Through her undergraduate senior honor thesis, “Finding Space for Xingshaoshu (LGB) College Students in China,” she gained a deeper understanding of how advocacy and activism could be strategically conducted in a hostile environment under an authoritarian regime. Her research project was recognized as the co-winner of the 2021 Robert Tucker Prize for Best Thesis in International Studies. As a research intern at HRNK, she hopes to further her knowledge of the Korean Peninsula and broaden her perspectives on human rights issues. She aims to pursue a dual degree program in South Korea and aspires to apply her skills and experience in the fields of diplomacy and public affairs.

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark Research Intern Spring 2022
Read Bio

Bryan Clark completed his master's in International and Security Politics at the European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL) at Lille Catholic University. He previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government – International Relations at California State University, Sacramento.

He first became interested in Korean Peninsula issues during his undergraduate program, where he studied about the governments of South and North Korea. He worked for two years as an English teacher in South Korea. From this experience, he developed a deeper interest in Korean Peninsula issues. He is interested in security, refugee, and human rights issues, particularly in relation to North Korea.

His goal is to work in human rights and diplomacy. He looks forward to being able to further improve his knowledge of human rights and refugee issues regarding North Korea. He is excited about being able to participate in HRNK’s efforts to bring further attention to the human rights violations committed by the North Korean government.

Jiwoo Hwang
Jiwoo Hwang Research Intern Summer 2021
Read Bio

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.

To understand the challenges faced by the personnel who are involved in North Korea’s nuclear program, it is crucial to understand the recruitment, education, and training processes through the lens of human rights. This report offers a starting point toward that understanding. North Korea’s scientists and engineers are forced to work on the nuclear weapons program regardless of their own interests, preferences, or aspirations. These individuals may be described as “moder

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the following issues in the DPRK: The status of the system of detention facilities, where a multitude of human rights violations are ongoing. The post-COVID human security and human rights status of North Korean women, with particular attention to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The issue of Japanese abductees and South Korean prisoners of war (POWs), abductees, and unjust detainees.

North Korea's Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Raymond Ha
Feb 17, 2024

This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so No. 25 by providing details of activity observed during 2021–2023. This report was originally published on Tearline at https://www.tearline.mil/public_page/prison-camp-25.

This report explains how the Kim regime organizes and implements its policy of human rights denial using the Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD) to preserve and strengthen its monolithic system of control. The report also provides detailed background on the history of the PAD, as well as a human terrain map that details present and past PAD leadership.

HRNK's latest satellite imagery report analyzes a 5.2 km-long switchback road, visible in commercial satellite imagery, that runs from Testing Tunnel No. 1 at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility to the perimeter of Kwan-li-so (political prison camp) no. 16.

This report proposes a long-term, multilateral legal strategy, using existing United Nations resolutions and conventions, and U.S. statutes that are either codified or proposed in appended model legislation, to find, freeze, forfeit, and deposit the proceeds of the North Korean government's kleptocracy into international escrow. These funds would be available for limited, case-by-case disbursements to provide food and medical care for poor North Koreans, and--contingent upon Pyongyang's progress

National Strategy for Countering North Korea
Joseph, Collins, DeTrani, Eberstadt, Enos, Maxwell, Scarlatoiu
Jan 23, 2023

For thirty years, U.S. North Korea policy have sacrificed human rights for the sake of addressing nuclear weapons. Both the North Korean nuclear and missile programs have thrived. Sidelining human rights to appease the North Korean regime is not the answer, but a fundamental flaw in U.S. policy. (Published by the National Institute for Public Policy)

North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking certainly continued until the onset of the COVID pandemic. HRNK has endeavored to determine if North Korean entities responsible for exporting workers to China and Russia continued their activities under COVID as well.

George Hutchinson's The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA is the second of three building blocks of a multi-year HRNK project to examine North Korea's information environment. Hutchinson's thoroughly researched and sourced report addresses the circulation of information within the Korean People's Army (KPA). Understanding how KPA soldiers receive their information is needed to prepare information campaigns while taking into account all possible contingenc

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 14, Update 1
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Dec 22, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This is the second HRNK satellite imagery report detailing activity observed during 2015 to 2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as “Kwan-li-so No. 14 Kaech’ŏn” (39.646810, 126.117058) and

North Korea's Long-term Prison-Labor Facility, Kyo-hwa-so No.3, T’osŏng-ni (토성리)
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Nov 03, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at civil and political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during 1968–1977 and 2002–2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as "Kyo-hwa-so No. 3, T'osŏng-ni" and endeavors to e

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Sep 30, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former detainee interviews to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so

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 Park
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

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-term detention facilities, conducted by the Committee for Human Rights