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Video: Kim Young Hwan’s Special Lecture on Secret Trip to North Korea, Ideological Conversion, Much More

June 12, 2013

A year ago at this time, activist and NKnet co-founder Kim Young Hwan and three of his colleagues were sitting in jail in China, having been arrested for their North Korean human rights work. Below is the full video of a special lecture Kim gave to a packed auditorium on September 12, 2012, at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul. He talks about his background and why he became involved in the democracy movement in South Korea (which led him to become an underground activist for North Korea), his later ideological conversion, and much more. The speech gained some attention in the media and brought protesters in front of our offices (in the pouring rain!) for his remarks about South Korea being ready to shed Clause 7 of its controversial National Security Law.

We have provided a list of contents immediately below the embedded video for your convenience.

Special thanks to Nova Mercier for painstakingly editing the video and creating the Youtube annotations.

Video Contents

0.00 About NKnet

5.00 Remarks by Yul Sohn, Dean of Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University

11.35 Kim Young Hwan

13.59 College life

17.22 Life in the Yushin period / Arrest of his teacher

21.19 Involvement in South Korea’s democracy movement

24.07 Arrest and founding of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League

26.57 Secretly visiting North Korea

30.50 Meeting with Kim Il Sung

55.32 Hearing defector testimonials and subsequent ideology shift

59.52 Motivation for getting involved in the North Korean human rights movement

1.06.39 Arrest and torture by the Chinese government


1.13.51 Can you describe the torture you underwent in China?

1.24.09 Do you think we should repeal or abolish the National Security Law in South Korea?

1.35.16 What is your image of unification? What is your opinion on a federal state solution?

1.48.47 In light of National Assembyman Lee Seok Ki’s recent comments, is it worse to follow the U.S. or North Korea? In light of Ahn Cheol Soo’s comments, are there still communists in South Korea? What are your thoughts on the sunshine policy?

2.02.41 Why does the issue of North Korean human rights not receive much attention?

Related Content:

More about Kim Young Hwan on this website

Read a write-up of this event

Daily NK article: Kim: We’re Strong Enough for End of Article 7

NK News article: Kim Young-hwan: From Juche Evangelist to North Korean Human Rights Activist

More photos of this event on our Facebook page

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