Thank you so much for your RSVP to TNKR’s 6th English speech contest. Please join us in helping the speakers to feel comfortable, it isn’t easy for some of them to speak out publicly about sensitive topics. Because of some recent activity by the North Korean regime both targeting and inviting North Korean refugees to return to the country, some of the speakers at the contest have requested that they be allowed to shield their identities and not to show their faces.

After getting feedback from them, we agreed on the following:

  • Privacy: No recordings (video or audio) or photographs except by media and TNKR staff. Even then, a few of the refugees will speak on the condition that there will be no photographs or recordings.
  • Off-the-record: Several of them will be discussing sensitive aspects of their stories that they have never discussed publicly. Therefore, several of them have also asked attendees not to write blog posts or articles about what they hear from specific speakers.
  • Contact info: Don’t ask the speakers for their contact information. You can meet them–by becoming a volunteer with TNKR or working with us to arrange future speech opportunities. Before the contest, if you arrive early, please allow the refugees and their coaches to have quiet time getting prepared for the contest.

Other Notes:

  • Venue: Check the Eventbrite invitation for the map and directions. Here’s an easy to follow, step-by-step video showing the route. Myeongdong station exit 4, walk for about two minutes, State Tower, Namsan will be on your left
  • Where do I check-in? Check-in at reception on the first floor, tell them the password, then they will direct you to the 8th floor. The elevators don’t have buttons so staff at the building will have to help you with getting access to the 8th floor.
  • What’s the password? TNKR.
  • To expedite registration: Be sure to bring a print out of your ticket or have it ready on your favorite mobile device that you will turn off and hide during the event.
  • First-come, first seated: We have sold all of the seats at the contest and anticipate a few people showing up at the door to pay. We can hold seats until 1:50 pm, but after that, we will open up all seats to everyone present. We plan to start promptly at 2 pm, our volunteer team will be arriving from 12:30 pm to have things set up.
  • Wrapping up: We plan to finish the contest by 4:30 pm. We would like to take a group photo, so please stick around for that so we can show how many people were in the room (the refugees will hide their faces then).
  • Following-up: After previous contests, we have had some volunteers who wanted to join. Check this link, get involved as a tutor or general volunteer in other ways. In particular, we are seeking translators, social media junkies and fundraisers at the moment..
  • Parking? Yes, parking is available! Send me the last four digits of your license plate to my email But before you leave, you will need to inform reception that you’re leaving.
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