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2017-04-20 Visit to UN office, TV interview

  • Yesterday morning:
    • I was delighted to be part of an interview with one of the Big 3 networks in South Korea.
    • Part of it included another visit to the UN’s Seoul office.
  • Yesterday evening (my next post)
    • I was honored to win an award from a Korean foundation.


Hwang Cheol was being interviewed about his campaign to have his father released from North Korea. The TV team interviewed a few of us to provide perspective to his campaign. We then wrapped up with a visit to the UN office.

Yes, they also interviewed me. I usually have a love-hate relationship with the media. As it has been said, “The interview is the honeymoon, publication is the divorce.”

The host who interviewed me is so lovely. She seemed to enjoy the interview and wasn’t the least bit shy when it was time to take photos! Sometimes I think I am in the wrong field, so many of the volunteers who collaborate with me run from the cameras. I remember one day that I received an email complaint from one guy whining that I’m always in the TNKR photos. That’s back when I used to answer critics, I politely informed him, “You idiot, if you had joined any of our sessions, you would know that most volunteers run from the cameras and our default with refugees is not to show their faces unless they make it clear they don’t mind.”

2017-02-14 North Korea is still breaking hearts

North Korea has been breaking hearts and families for decades. The Hwang Won family has been waiting since 1969 for him to be returned from North Korea. He had the misfortune to be one of the 50 people on Korean Air flight YS-11 on December 11, 1969. After international protests, 39 of the 50 passengers were returned to South Korea on Valentine’s Day 1970, but 11 of the people, including Hwang Won, were not allowed to return and have not been able to contact their families.

His son, Hwang Cheol who was 2 years old when his father was kidnapped to North Korea, has been campaigning to have his father and the others returned. Mr. Hwang held a press conference in the morning then an event at the TNKR office to raise awareness about this case. You can’t change the world, but you can let Mr. Hwang know that you support his effort in having his father returned.

Media coverage

Daily NK, Yonhap News, Seoul Kyunjeh, Intiz.net, Hankyoreh, MBN, Read more

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Planning meetings this week

It has been said that on your way to heaven that you’ll have to pass through the Atlanta airport, because it seems that every connecting flight goes through there. This week, it seemed that all of TNKR passed by my desk.

Tutoring, coaching, meetings, planning meetings, checking tutor reports, calling tutors, updating the website (thank you, Maaike!), orientation sessions. What a week! I was so busy that I couldn’t post about it until now.

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