Liberty in North Korea

In Fall 2018, UNA-CSU Fullerton had the privilege of hosting an on-campus event called Raising LiNK Awareness, featuring the work of Liberty in North Korea and the stories of several North Korean refugees.

In light of the recent media and endless sensationalism of the Kim regime, we the public lack true knowledge of what North Korea is. Our attention gravitates to outrageous headlines and heated debates whilst we unintentionally view these events through a lens of politics. With our focus misdirected, we lose sight of those most affected by factors of hubris, ignorance, and oppression. Recognizing the need to challenge these mindsets, UNA-CSUF sought to partner with an NGO known as Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). From their transformative philosophy of “people over politics” to their work of rescuing and resettling North Korean refugees, we wanted to learn from them. What does people over politics mean? What is this ongoing refugee crisis in China that the general public is unaware of? How can we help?

In Fall 2018, UNA-CSU Fullerton had the privilege of hosting an on-campus event called Raising LiNK Awareness in which we featured the work of LiNK and hosted several North Korean refugees for a Q&A. As former citizens of DPRK, these persons shared their unique histories coming from North Korea’s elite to beginning an alcohol trade at a young age to survive. From enduring thousands of miles of terrain with a constant fear of being captured then killed to the heartbreaking realization that their country is not what they envisioned, they selflessly offered their stories as proof of why the people must come first. They allowed audiences to surpass their own biases in witnessing how they currently are university students with typical interests regardless of their defector status.

From this event, UNA-CSUF was challenged to recall humility and surpass the loud stigmas behind North Korea’s politics for the purpose of transforming the people’s narrative. In hearing their stories and gaining North Korean friends, our chapter is pleased to join LiNK’s humanitarian cause to uplift those affected by gross injustices.

“Please think of us as your North Korean friends,”
-Ill Yong, LiNK Advocacy Fellow and North Korean refugee

Photo credit to @RileyCaptures.

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