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Kim Young Hwan Talk: From Juche Evangelist to North Korean Human Rights Activist

August 31, 2012

Speaker Series Event Invitation

Kim Young Hwan was a leading student activist in the 1980s who successfully spread North Korea’s Juche ideology among university students in the South. But a secret meeting with Kim Il Sung and seeing firsthand the lack of academic freedom in the North — and later the testimony of refugees who’d escaped the North’s great famine in the mid-1990s — caused him to completely re-evaluate his beliefs and lifework. In 1999 he helped found NKnet (북한민주화네트워크) and ever since has actively worked toward democracy and human rights in North Korea.

We have asked Mr. Kim to speak about his student activist days, his trip to North Korea in 1991, why he later reversed course, and what he thinks today about improving the lives of the North Korean people. Don’t miss this rare opportunity!

Mini-Bio of Kim Young Hwan

• Entered Seoul National University in 1982 as a law student
• Wrote and secretly distributed Letters by Steel (강철서신), which popularized Juche ideology, and was a major leader of the National Liberation (NL – 민족해방) faction of the student movement in South Korea
• Secretly took a semi-submersible (similar to one in photo) to North Korea and met Kim Il Sung
• Started the underground National Democratic Revolutionary Party (민족민주혁명당) under orders from North Korea
• Now works for democracy and human rights in North Korea
• Was arrested and tortured in the Spring of 2012 by the Chinese government for his work in China near the N.K. border (links to media coverage)
More about Kim Young Hwan

Mr. Kim will speak in Korean, but English translation will be provided. This event is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
강연은 영어와 한국어로 동시에 진행됩니다.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies
New Millenium Hall, Room #101
북한인권운동가 김영환 특별강연회
연세대학교 국제대학원
새천년관 대강당

Hosted by: Yonsei GSIS
Organized by: The Network for North Korean Democracy & Human Rights (NKnet)
(This event is part of our ongoing North Korean Human Rights Speaker Series)

Facebook Event page:



The easiest and often fastest way to get to the Yonsei GSIS is via the Gyeongbokgung Subway Station (line 3). Walk straight from exit 1 about 3 minutes to the city bus stop (past the airport bus stop). Take bus 272 or 606 just two stops. You will know to get off after you go through two tunnels — as soon as you hit the second tunnel, ring the bell and get off at the next stop. You will see a Starbucks as you get off the bus — walk up the short, steep hill just to the right of Starbucks. Continue another 50-100 meters to the East Gate of Yonsei University. Once past the gate walk a few minutes along the winding road — you will pass the international dormitory on your left. The next building is New Millenium Hall — walk down the stairs to arrive at the front of the building. Allow approximately 20 minutes from the time you exit the subway station until you arrive at New Millenium Hall.

Other directions can be found here:

For more information:
webmaster at nknet org

PDF file of event poster (English)
김영환 강연 한글 포스터 (Korean)

Filed under:

110-044 4F, Shinguan (New Building), Pilun Building, 214 Pilun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea