This post is also available in: Korean
Justice for North Korea (JFNK) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, grassroots organization trying to address the human rights crisis just 40 miles north of Seoul. We were founded and are led by a South Korean pastor whose calling is to help the North Korean people. However, all are welcome at JFNK regardless of one’s religious faith or nationality. Our members are united in our intense desire to assist the North Korean people.
Our mission is to:
- Improve North Korean human rights inside North Korea
- Support democracy in North Korea
- Help North Korean refugees in other countries and in South Korea
- Work with the international society and organizations to further the above goals
Justice for North Korea started on May 23rd, 2007. From that day on, we helped oppressed North Korean refugees in China by making their problem an international issue through 444 days of protesting, ending on August 8th, 2008. We held our demonstration in front of Chinese, Japanese, American, and European embassies and consulates (of about 10 nations) in Korea and Europe to make known the Chinese government’s forcible repatriation of North Korean refugees. This problem has not yet been resolved. We are continually investigating, finding evidence, and striving to improve North Korea’s human rights situation.
Justice for North Korea does numerous activities to help the North Korean people, but our six main activities are Street Campaigns, Protests, Fundraisers, Prayer Meetings, Screenings and Exhibitions, and Refugee Rescues.
On May 23rd, 2009, we started one of our most unique initiatives: the Street Campaign. Our Street Campaigns are held monthly in downtown Seoul. Every campaign includes a live re-enactment of a North Korean refugee being held captive by a North Korean guard and a Chinese guard. We also have posters and fliers with lots of information on the North Korean crisis. The purpose of the Street Campaigns is to raise awareness of the North Korean crisis, to protest the Chinese government’s brutal repatriation policy, and to raise funds to help rescue North Korean refugees.
One of Justice for North Korea’s first actions was helping North Korean refugees in China by making their problem an international issue through 444 days of protesting. These demonstrations were held in front of Chinese, Japanese, American, and European embassies and consulates (of about 10 nations) in Korea and Europe to make known the Chinese government’s forcible repatriation of North Korean refugees. We continue to protest in front of Chinese embassies and consulates, calling on the Chinese government to end its deplorable policy of forcible repatriation. We will continue these protests until this problem has been resolved.
Like all non-profit organizations, Justice for North Korea needs donations in order for us to do our work. One way we collect donations is through fundraisers. These are held periodically, and usually consist of concerts with raffle prizes. We also sell merchandise, such as T-shirts and postcards, at these events. The vast majority of the money raised by fundraisers goes into our shelter/rescue fund. We send some of this money to a shelter in China for children, most of whom have a North Korean mother who has been forcibly repatriated and a Chinese father unable or unwilling to care for them. We use the rest of this money to help North Korean refugees reach safety. Some of the donations are used for other purposes, such as to support our office and other operating and programs expenses.
While Justice for North Korea remains a non-religious organization, from time to time we participate in prayer meetings for North Korea. These prayer meetings consist of sermons, testimonies, and prayers for the people of North Korea. These prayer meetings are in conjunction with other groups, and are held right outside of Seoul Station in the main plaza area. All are welcome, regardless of religious belief.
Screenings and Exhibitions
Justice for North Korea periodically holds screenings of movies or documentaries about the North Korean crisis in order to raise awareness of the situation and to motivate people to do what they can to help the North Korean people. We sometimes raise funds at these events to help rescue North Korean refugees. In addition to screenings, we also hold photo exhibitions, and we have participated in conferences in Europe, North America, South Korea, and other parts of Asia.
All of Justice for North Korea’s activities work toward the same goal: to help the people of North Korea. The most direct way we do this is through our refugee rescues. Through the funds we raise, we are able to provide our networks on the Underground Railroad with the resources they need to bring North Korean refugees to safety. In 2013, Justice for North Korea successfully carried out 20 refugee rescues. With the cost of a refugee rescue being roughly $1500, Justice for North Korea will continue this valuable work, and provide many more North Korean refugees with the opportunity to live in freedom.