Monday, March 4, 2024

North Korean Refugees: HIDING

September 21, 2010  
Filed under Global Spotlight

Introducing a new documentary created by the grassroots organization, LiNK (Liberty in North Korea).

north korea documentaryIf you ever wondered how Korea became two completely different nations but never attempted to find out why, here’s what happened. From 1910 to 1945, Japan had occupied the Korean peninsula. When they were defeated at the end of World War II, Japan ceded the land to the Soviet Union and the United States. The former took over north of the 38th parallel while the U.S. took over the south. Communism vs. democracy—these two opposing political ideologies forced a split that changed the course of history.

One question you should never ask your Korean friend, co-worker, acquaintance or, especially, stranger is whether he or she is North Korean or South Korean (which actually happens). The question poser is looked upon as ignorant. It’s illegal to exit or cross the country of North Korea without permission, if you recall the incident with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. (Since then, both have released a book about their experience: Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home and The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness.)

map of korea and surrounding countries

North Korea has been steeped in a humanitarian crisis which has largely gone unnoticed until recently. In the mid 1990s, over one million people died in a devastating famine. According to the nonprofit organization Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), 33 percent of the population is currently malnourished and 23 percent of children under age 5 are underweight. Lacking basic freedoms, millions are still dying from starvation and many risk their lives to escape by crossing the dangerous border. Those caught are either put to death or placed in harsh labor camps.

Hiding is the first documentary by LiNK that will be featuring their underground networks and refugee shelters and rescues. The film exposes the struggle North Korean refugees go through in China to find freedom and follows the story of five rescued individuals.

The film will be released on September 26, while four teams from LiNK will travel across North America to premiere the documentary, in hopes of raising awareness and funds to help rescue more North Korean refugees.

Help spread the word by attending a screening or setting one up in your area. Visit LiNK for more info.

To watch the teaser, click on the top linked image or here.

* LiNK is a nonprofit grassroots organization that was started in 2004 by two passionate activists who learned about the crisis and felt a burden to share it with the rest of the world. This year, LiNK has rescued 20 refugees in hiding. Recently, they have been selected by Ford Motor Company for The People’s Fleet project, a two-month program in Los Angeles that will help five influential and socially-conscious organizations drive their unique missions forward with a Ford Fiesta, Flip HD video camera, and a professional cinematographer. The Fleet will follow North Korean defector Danny, rescued by LiNK in 2006, as he lives his resettled life in Los Angeles, as well as capture LiNK’s headquarters operations. To see the 8-week webisode series, visit

Further Reading:

Check out, which features a list of resources and ways to help:  North Korea’s Humanitarian Crisis

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