On 2017-12-11, TNKR combined with the 1969 KAL Abductees’ Families Association to hold a press conference on the 48th anniversary of a Korean Airline plane being hijacked to North Korea. Hwang In-Cheol, the son of one of the people abducted and held in North Korea, has been leading up the fight the past 15 years to have the victims released. He has combined with various NGOs and government agencies and organizations, but to no avail. We haven’t been successful, but we have done our best to stand with Mr. Hwang ever since we met him March 2016. We have helped him organize several events, but every event feels like one too many. NK needs to let the abductees go or at least, as Mr. Hwang is now asking, to have a chance to meet in a 3rd country.
The main organizer of the press conference was Youngmin Kwon, a TNKR volunteer who is the Project Manager of the Bring My Father Home campaign. As always, TNKR co-director Eunkoo Lee did 1001 things behind the scenes to make an event happen. Also helping out were TNKR volunteers and students Goeun Gil, Cody Smith, Paul Jennings, Andrea Sciurti and Chansook Kim.
TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan opened the press conference by giving background information about the hijacking and he also mentioned TNKR role.
TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue discussed Mr. Hwang’s strategy over the last 15 years, which he compared to Martin Luther King’s strategy of non-violence.
Kim Sokwoo, former Vice Minister of the Unification Ministry, was the first main speaker. He spoke strongly about Mr. Hwang’s campaign to have his father released.
Signe Poulsen of the UN office in Seoul then followed by discussing the UN’s support of his campaign.
NK refugee Hyeongsoo Kim, a student in TNKR and co-founder of Stepping Stones, denounced the NK regime for holding Mr. Hwang’s father and others against their will.
The event then wrapped up with a viewing of a documentary being put together to highlight this campaign.
Some major media covered the event and there should be more stories in the next week or so.