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November 16, 2022
Dear Friends of HRNK, You are kindly invited to participate in a hybrid lecture, "North Korea and its Regime," organized by the Dutch United Nations Student Association (SIB Amsterdam) and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). The lecture will highlight HRNK's role as a North Korean human rights advocate, the Kim regime and Juche ideology, human rights violations in North Korea, and what can be done by the general public. This hybrid event will be held on Wednesday, 16 November 1 PM (EST) / 7 PM (CET). The physical event will be hosted by SIB in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (UvA Roeterseilandcampus, Roetersstraat 11). It will also be live-streamed on Zoom. For further information, please contact SIB Amsterdam at [email protected]
October 28, 2022
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI), the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the European Union Delegation to the UN hosted a side-event, “Investigating the DPRK Human Rights: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability” on Friday, 28th October 2022, 1:15-2:45 PM (EST) in a hybrid format: virtually on Zoom and in-person at the premises of the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the UN. This event highlighted the human rights infringements and crimes against humanity perpetrated at DPRK detention facilities as well as the chain of command and control responsible for those violations, in order to emphasize the importance of human rights accountability in the DPRK. Following presentations by ROK Ambassador-at-Large Lee Shin-wha and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the DPRK Dr. Elizabeth Salmón, the event featured briefings by HRNK Senior Advisors Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Robert Collins, based on an ongoing HRNK investigation of DPRK detention facilities, which uses a methodology combining satellite imagery, witness testimony, and open-source research. Over three decades since the end of the Cold War, the DPRK has persisted as an egregious human rights violator. In the third decade of the 21st century, the DPRK continues to run a system of political prison camps and other unlawful detention facilities. Up to 200,000 men, women, and children are imprisoned at the DPRK’s political prison camps, pursuant to a feudal-inspired system of guilt-by-association, which punishes up to three generations for the perceived wrongdoing of one family member. To this day, the DPRK continues to discriminate against its own c
September 26, 2022
On Monday, September 26, 2022, HRNK held a virtual launch of its latest report, North Korean Workers Officially Dispatched to China & Russia: Human Rights Denial, Chain of Command & Control by Greg Scarlatoiu, with Raymond Ha and Hyunseung Lee. The report finds that "the working conditions at overseas worksites constitute forced, slave labor." In particular, "there are severe violations of the International Labor Organization's core Conventions and North Korea's own labor laws." The report also provides information about the situation of overseas workers in China & Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an outline of the chain of command & control that directs the official dispatch of overseas workers. The report is available online at https://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/Overseas_Workers_0926.pdf. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, opened the event with an overview of the practice of dispatching North Korean workers overseas, along with a summary of HRNK's efforts to investigate the issue. Raymond Ha, HRNK Director of Operations & Research, then provided an assessment of the gravity of labor standard violations affecting North Korea's overseas workers. This was followed by Hyunseung Lee, HRNK Advisor and North Korea analyst, who gave a detailed presentation about how the North Korean regime manages and oversees the official dispatch of overseas workers. The event concluded with a brief Q&A session. Please click on the following link to view the video recording of the report launch: https://youtu.be/fSdjRB1pIXE
September 15, 2022
HRNK hosted the 18th General Meeting of the International Parliamentarians' Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights (IPCNKR) on Thursday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at the DACOR Bacon House. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, moderated the event. Opening & Congratulatory Remarks (9:00-9:30 a.m.) The Hon. Ha Tae-keung, IPCNKR Chairperson & ROK National Assembly The Hon. Damon Wilson, President & CEO, National Endowment for Democracy The Hon. Hwang Woo-yea, IPCNKR Honorary Chairperson & former ROK Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Session 1: Promotion & Protection of Freedom of Opinion & Expression in N. Korea (9:30-10:40 a.m.) Jang Hyoek, former entrepreneur & defector from N. Korea Dr. Baek Jieun, Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center The Hon. Hong Suk-joon, ROK National Assembly Kwon Eun-kyoung, Executive Director, NK Net Session 2: Crimes Against Humanity in N. Korea & Accountability I (11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.) The Hon. Nakagawa Masaharu, member of the House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan (remote) The Hon. Futori Hideshi, member of the House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan The Hon. Ji Seong-ho, ROK National Assembly Choi Sung-yong, head of the Abductees' Family Union The Hon. Park Sun-young, former member, ROK National Assembly Luncheon (12:20-1:30 p.m.) Session 3: Crimes Against Humanity in N. K
August 12, 2022
On October 9, 1983, North Korean agents planted a bomb at the Martyrs' Mausolem in Rangoon, Burma, attempting to assassinate the fifth president of South Korea, Chun Doo-hwan. Although Chun was unharmed due to an act of providence, fourteen South Korean presidential advisers, journalists, and security officials were killed, together with four Burmese nationals. One out of three North Korean assassins survived. This is the story of Kang Min-chol, the lone survivor of the 1983 North Korean terrorist hit squad. The report launch will be conducted virtually, via Zoom, at 10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (ET) on Friday, August 12. Following a presentation by Amb. Ra Jong-yil, the event will feature remarks by retired Lt. General Chun In-bum, ROKA, who was at the scene of the attack in 1983 as a first lieutenant, and Robert Collins, HRNK Author and Senior Adviser. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, will moderate the discussion. Zoom access information will be shared with registered participants on Thursday, August 11. The event will be open to the press and on-the-record.
June 27, 2022
On June 27, 2022, following an exhaustive multi-year Inquiry, HRNK and the International Bar Association (IBA) launched in Washington, D.C. a report entitled "Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Detention Centers." The Inquiry, chaired by four renowned international judges--including the former Presidents of the ICC and the Rwanda Tribunal, as well as judges who served on the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Cambodia--concluded that crimes against humanity have been, and continue to be, committed in North Korea's pre-trial detention centers, holding centers, and labor training camps. Remarks by: Navanethem 'Navi' Pillay (Inquiry Chair) - Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Former President, Rwanda Tribunal; Former Judge, International Criminal Court (ICC) Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi - President, Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC; Former President, ICC Wolfgang Schomburg - Former Judge, Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia Tribunals Greg Kehoe - Former Co-Chair, IBA War Crimes Committee; Partner, Greenberg Traurig Nawi Ukabiala - Pro Bono Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP Roberta Cohen - Former Co-Chair, HRNK; Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights David Tolbert - Former Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Former Yugoslavia Tribunal; Former Exec. Dir., Int'l Center for Transitional Justice
June 09, 2022
This event will begin with a screening of the documentary Abandoned Heroes No. 43 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, featuring:   Mr. Seon-Woo Lee POW in North Korea from 1953 to 2006, when he escaped to South Korea Lt. Gen. Wallace "Chip" Gregson, Jr. (USMC, Retired) President, WC Gregson & Associates Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Ms. Hee-Eun Kim Founder, President & CEO, Center for Asia Pacific Strategy (CAPS) Col. David Maxwell (U.S. Army, Retired) Board Member, HRNK Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) Dr. Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. (USMC, Retired) Professor, Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, Angelo State University Remarks by the speakers will be followed by a Q&A session. The panel discussion will be moderated by HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu.
June 02, 2022
Moderated by HRNK Co-Chair Emeritus Roberta Cohen   Presenters: Dr. Rana Siu Inboden Adjunct Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs Distinguished Scholar, Strauss Center for International Security and Law North Korea and Authoritarian Collaboration in the United Nations: The Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review Process The report Dr. Inboden will feature examines ways that North Korea benefits from protection in the UN human rights system. In particular, it examines patterns where other authoritarian countries shield North Korea from human rights criticism during the UN's Universal Periodic Review process by offering praise for the North Korean government, even in the face of severe human rights violations. It shows that jointly North Korea and other countries, such as China, blunt the effectiveness of external human rights scrutiny and monitoring. The North Korean regime and its allies frequently band together in multilateral bodies to shield each other from international human rights pressure. This is particularly evident during the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). During all three of North Korea’s UPR sessions before the Human Rights Council (HRC), a number of its backers not only defended it but even applauded North Korea’s record.  The most active countries shielding North Korea were China, Cuba, and Venezuela, but they were also joined by Syria, Belarus, Russia, Vietnam, Iran, and Burundi.    Greg Scarlatoiu Executive Director, HRNK North Korea and Authoritarian Collaboration in the United Nations: The ECOSOC NGO Committee The report Executive Director Scarlatoiu will feature examines the role of the ECOSOC NGO Committee as “gatekeeper” of international civil society access, based
April 26, 2022
HRNK will be featuring Army of the Indoctrinated: The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA by George Hutchinson, the latest report in an ongoing project to examine North Korea's information environment. The report launch will be conducted virtually, via Zoom. Login information will be shared with confirmed participants the day prior to the event. The event will be open to the press and on-the-record. Please email Raymond Ha, HRNK Director of Operations and Research, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
March 04, 2022
Dear Friend of HRNK and IBA, We invite you to a Hearing in connection with an Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Detention Centers that is being led by HRNK and the IBA. The Hearing, which will be held on March 4, 2022 from 09:00 to 17:30 (EST), will feature (1) in-person testimony from survivors of North Korean detention centers, and (2) expert testimony on command and control structures in the Kim regime, satellite images of detention centers, etc. The goal of the Hearing is to determine culpability for alleged crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, ranging from actors at the highest level of the regime (i.e., Kim Jong-un), to low-level guards who carry out many of the worst human rights abuses.  Four renowned international jurists – who, together, have presided over the most consequential international criminal tribunals since the Nuremberg trials – will preside over the March 4th Hearing: 1. Navi Pillay (Chair) is a South African jurist and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. During her UN tenure, Judge Pillay appointed Justice Michael Kirby to conduct the landmark UN Commission of Inquiry (2014) on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. She also served as President of the Rwanda Tribunal and as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC). 2. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi served as the former President of the ICC and currently serves as the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC (2021-2023). 3. Wolfgang Schomburg served as Germany’s first judge on the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals. 4. Dame Silvia Cartwright is the former Governor-General of New Zealand and served as an international judge on the Cambodia Tribunal. Th
December 22, 2021
HRNK will be featuring its 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. The report launch will be conducted virtually, via Zoom. Login information will be shared with confirmed participants the day prior to the event. The event will be open to the press and on-the-record. Please email Raymond Ha, HRNK Director of Operations and Research, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
November 03, 2021
HRNK will be featuring its 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. The report launch will be conducted virtually, via Zoom. Login information will be shared with confirmed participants the day prior to the event. The event will be open to the press and on-the-record. Please email Raymond Ha, HRNK Director of Operations and Research, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
October 26, 2021
Featuring:  The Honorable Tomás Ojea Quintana Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Moderated by: Greg Scarlatoiu Executive Director, HRNK Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea by the Human Rights Council in 2016. Mr. Ojea Quintana is a lawyer from Argentina working in the field of criminal law, human rights and public interest, representing NGOs and other groups in different cases, including child abduction by the military regime, sexual abuses by members of the church, and business criminal liability for human rights abuses. He is currently the attorney of a universal jurisdiction case on the abuses against Rohingyas. He served as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar from 2008 to 2014, and previously as Consultant for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bolivia. He also worked as a lawyer at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (OAS). He is a consultant for the Parliament of Argentina, and has worked as an adviser to government agencies on human rights and security issues.  This is Mr. Quintana's second and final visit to Washington, D.C. during his mandate as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK. Please email Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
July 22, 2021
HRNK will be featuring 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. The event will be open to the press, and on-the-record. Please click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
July 13, 2021
Featuring:  Family Members of ROK POWs Colonel David Maxwell Board Member, HRNK Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies Colonel (RET), U.S. Army Amanda Mortwedt Oh Human Rights Attorney, HRNK Rosa Park Director of Programs and Editor, HRNK Greg Scarlatoiu Executive Director, HRNK Fredrick (Skip) Vincenzo Visiting Senior US Naval Special Warfare Fellow, Atlantic Council HRNK will feature a discussion on the fate of South Korean POWs whom North Korea never returned to their hometowns and families after the July 27, 1953 armistice. Subjected to forced labor and relegated to a very low "Category 43" Songbun status for almost seven decades, dozens of them are still being held captive in the North to this day. HRNK's Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Mortwedt Oh, and Rosa Park will be joined by HRNK Board Member U.S. Army COL (RET) David Maxwell (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies) and U.S. Navy SEAL Commander (RET) Frederick (Skip) Vincenzo (Atlantic Council), together with family members of ROK POWs held in the North.  Please click click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
July 01, 2021
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 to human rights before and after the February 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report. In conclusion, while following the collapse of the Hanoi Summit and the outbreak of the COVID epidemic, North Korea is currently in an extreme “anti-reform” and “anti-opening” phase. This HRNK report contends that recommendations the United Nations could make to the DPRK may provide a roadmap complete with specific steps for North Korea to become a more "normal" country.  The event will be open to the press, and on-the-record. Please click on the button above or click here to RSVP. 
June 24, 2021
Ambassador Robert King will be featuring his latest book, "Patterns of Impunity: Human Rights in North Korea and the Role of the U.S. Special Envoy." Published by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University, Ambassador King's book is a captivating account of his efforts to integrate human rights within U.S. policy with North Korea. The book also provides unique insights into the creation of the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea as well as obstacles to upholding internationally accepted human rights standards and the challenges to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korea. The event will be open to the press, and on-the-record. Please click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
June 10, 2021
From the Workers' Paradise to the United States, former North Korean Doohyun Kim will share the life, trials, and journey of his North Korean family, who miraculously escaped North Korea.  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. Doohyun is currently a member of HRNK's research, translation, and media-monitoring team.  The event will be open to the press, and on-the-record. Please click on the button above or click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
May 26, 2021
This event will be on the record. Featuring:  Ms. Seo-hyun Lee  & Mr. Hyeun-seung Lee North Korean Escapees Hosts, “Pyonghattan” YouTube Program Moderated by: Greg Scarlatoiu Executive Director, HRNK North Korean escapees Ms. Seo-hyun Lee and Mr. Hyeun-seung Lee will address their life experience in North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. The two hosts of the “Pyonghattan” program will discuss the current state of the North Korean economy, society, politics, and human rights as well as North Korean elites and Kim regime dynamics. They will address the potential role of North Korea’s youth and the “Jangmadang Generation” in transforming North Korea moving forward. The speakers will address the importance of empowering the people of North Korea through information from the outside world. After all, the only way to enact positive change in North Korea is by means of empowering its people through such information. Please click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
May 13, 2021
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) cordially invites you to: HRNK Board Member Speaking Series “The Biden Administration: Is a North Korean Human Rights Reset Possible?”  Thursday, May 13, 2021 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) This event will be on the record. Featuring:  Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt Henry Wendt Chair, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Founding Board Member, HRNK Moderated by: Greg Scarlatoiu Executive Director, HRNK Can the Biden administration stop Kim and thwart his nuclear ambitions? Can the Biden administration retake the higher ground once held on North Korean human rights? The answer is yes—if it is serious about doing so. President Biden has the power and the options at his disposal to progressively reduce the North Korean threat. Accomplishing this, however, will take a vision and resolve his predecessors lacked—and determination as well not to repeat their mistakes in dealing with Pyongyang. The event will be open to the press, and on-the-record. Please click here to RSVP.  The Zoom credentials will be sent to you shortly before the program. Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
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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