Introductions: Grace Kim

Name: Grace Kim

Age: 20

Occupation: Student @ Wellesley College

Likes: Asparagus; Banana Milk in the triangle carton from S. Korea

Dislikes: clusters of small dots (not candy); wide-ruled notebooks

Nowadays, my Google Alert does not go a day without sending at least five articles on North Korea’s leadership change or the regime’s increasing chumminess with China. Where are the articles on the thousands of people fleeing the oppressive nation? Where are the alerts on children dying on hunger?

Too few people know about the humanitarian crisis in North Korea and many who do know that the Korean peninsula is divided can only evoke images of a chubby Korean man with big glasses, bad hair, and a tan jumpsuit. I myself wasn’t too different either until about two years ago when I was really moved at a prayer meeting for NK. Since then, I’ve joined a new human rights group on campus called Advocates for North Korean Human Rights (ANKHR) and have met some amazing people including refugees, professors, social workers, and government employees all involved in the same cause. The more I learn about all the issues plaguing North Korea like poverty, political oppression, religious intolerance, and the lack of civil rights, I’m even more confused about how to “fix the problem(s).” One thing for sure, ignorance is never the answer. All the issues are interconnected and we need a comprehensive approach, understanding the political, economical, and, most definitely the humanitarian aspects in bringing about change in the most closed land in the world.

As co-president of ANKHR this year, I want to engage people in provocative debates and perspectives regarding North Korea. I hope to do the same on this blog with my fellow teammates and show a bigger, real picture of North Korea.

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