From North Korean Prisoner to Freedom Fighter: A Conversation with Kang Cheol-Hwan

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

From North Korean Prisoner to Freedom Fighter: A Conversation with Kang Cheol-Hwan


Date: Monday, December 12, 2016
Time: 12:00PM-1:30PM
Location: 300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001

The North Korean communist regime still denies the existence of kwanliso prison camps, where inmates face all types of atrocities, including forced labor, starvation, and torture. The evidence of their existence is, however, undeniable. On November 29, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) released satellite images of Camp No. 25, which has expanded over the years. The HRNK’s report was published less than a month after the release of a report by Amnesty International, which concluded that Pyongyang “is continuing to maintain, and even invest” in the prison camps.

On December 12th, The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation invites you to join a conversation with Kang Cheol-Hwan, a North Korean defector and a former prisoner of North Korea’s prison camps. Mr. Kang spent 10 years in Yodok concentration camp but escaped to South Korea in 1992, where he established the North Korean Strategy Center US (NKSC US), a non-profit organization promoting freedom and access to information in North Korea. Mr. Kang will discuss his experience in North Korea, including prison camp conditions and how he escaped. He will also speak about the current state of information freedom in North Korea and the NKSC’s initiatives on freedom of information and leadership development.

Registration is required as space is limited. Lunch will be provided.

About Mr. Kang

Mr. Kang Cheol-Hwan, president of North Korea Strategy Center and the chairman of the board of directors of NKSC US, was born in 1968 in Pyongyang, North Korea. At age 9, Mr. Kang was sent along with his family to Yodok concentration camp, where he spent ten years suffering starvation and hard labor. After being released, Mr. Kang eventually escaped North Korea, crossing into China in 1992 and eventually reaching South Korea. In 2000, he published The Aquariums of Pyongyang, the first survivor’s account of North Korea’s concentration camps. In 2003, he was awarded the National Endowment of Democracy’s Democracy Award. In 2006, he was selected as one of Time’s Asian Heroes. Mr. Kang is a contributing author to the Chosun Ilbo on North Korean issues. In 2007, Mr. Kang established NKSC in Seoul, South Korea.


The North Korea Strategy Center US (NKSC US) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization. The NKSC envision a free and open North Korea that upholds the fundamental human rights of all its people in a healthy democracy.

Dec 12, 2016
12:00pm — 1:30pm

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, 300 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC