When North Korean refugees discuss North Korea publicly, they do their best to sound diplomatic. I’m amazed, because I would probably be unleashing fire and fury on North Korea on a daily basis if I had to escape from there at the risk of torture or execution, or live with the fear that relatives may be at risk because I couldn’t stand to live in there anymore. Those of us who live in civilized countries where we can leave as we wish can’t identify with what North Koreans have to go through to get to freedom.

A few weeks ago, with some Danish reporters, TNKR Ambassador Eunhee Park unleashed some of her fire and fury at North Korea. One of the reporters even quoted her cursing North Korea. This follows on the heels of her calling Kim Jong-Un “a big fat pig” as she spoke at the Asia Liberty Forum.

The article is in Danish, but look in the upper left corner, you’ll see her cursing North Korea. She has allowed me to post this, but on one condition. I must say: Read more

Jason Jung, editor of T-Club, has published excerpts from his interview with TNKR’s co-founders.

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A reporter visited the TNKR office, and stayed for about 9 hours. He conducted interviews with staff and refugees, analyzing from every possible angle. We set one hour limits for interviews with refugees, but the rest of us will talk all day long…

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Friday was a slow day at TNKR, so we did a lot of planning. We did have one TV interview in the morning and one tutoring session in the afternoon.

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I continue to be amazed that TNKR gets so much media attention even though:

  • We don’t have a media team or even anyone handling media relations.
  • The American co-founder is a former reporter and communications specialist who is more likely to fight with rather than reach out to media.

Despite those limitations, here we are again, being interviewed by a TV reporter who will be doing a 3-minute segment about TNKR. In TV time, that is eternal life.

Check out the TNKR Media Archive here, and look at how much media coverage we have gotten through April 30.

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TNKR Special Ambassador TNKR Ken Eom was interviewed about North Korea and his experience in TNKR. He’s a new father so you can support his online baby shower here. And here is his fundraiser for TNKR, he called TNKR a LIttle Big Hero.

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We had a tutoring session going on, so the reporter also observed that a little. The refugee is often on TV, but she is not the least bit interested being recorded speaking in English. Later, we expect that she will become an advocate for TNKR.

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The reporter also interviewed me. The interview was going to focus on me, but I suggested we expand beyond me. TNKR won’t grow if every interview is about me. Don’t get me wrong, I want to explain TNKR to the media, but I also know that people get tired of seeing one person focused upon.

***

We wrapped up with a meeting with international students from the KAIST College of Business. They said some thoughtful things about ways that we can develop a business model.

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TNKR Special Ambassador Ken Eom was a special interviewee today! Reporters have been calling us for interviews, but a lot of the refugees in TNKR who are usually ready to do interviews seemed to be busy this week (exam week) or not interested in discussing specifics about the summit. Ken answered the call today and had numerous media requests. So you can expect to see a few news reports in the next few days. He did three interviews today back-to-back-to-back before he had to rush off for a different appointment.
 
He’s a new father and also juggling grad school. Thanks to those of you who participated in his online baby shower. You can also send support for their baby adjustment time directly to Ken.
I also had a busy day–a speech in the morning at an international high school, an interview with an international reporter, and an in-studio interview with long-time radio host Henry Shinn.
And I’m proud to announce that TNKR will have its first student club!

I was out of the office most of today, here are the things that I know about:

More photos are below. Read more

Back in the day when I was a college reporter, I learned that a good reporter talks to at least three sources for an article. Relying on one person is the laziest form of reporting. I used to get surprised by reporters who didn’t want to talk to others, but I got used to it. I don’t mean enemies and ideologues who even hate what I have for breakfast–I mean, even someone who can add perspective and knowledge about what we are doing with TNKR.

I encourage reporters to talk to others in TNKR who have leadership positions. There is some risk in this, because some reporters only see what they see, and they will report the observations of newcomers who barely understand TNKR. A volunteer who stands up and says someone off-the-wall is a great man-bites-dog story. When I look at some articles about TNKR a few years ago, some include volunteers who probably haven’t thought about TNKR in years, didn’t know much about it then beyond their limited experience, and had no idea about things we were planning or dealing with to build the organization. 

This reporter who is working on an online article interviewed me, co-founder Eunkoo Lee, Assistant Director Dave Fry, Academic Coordinator Janice Kim, tutors, and refugees in TNKR. Plus, he stayed for more than 3 hours to observe one of our matching sessions. He has also followed up with questions. He could, like many reporters, get some facts wrong, but it won’t be because he didn’t try to get an understanding about TNKR. It would be because, like most reporters, he didn’t show me the article in advance. As I’ve learned, most reporters would prefer to get complaints about what has been posted or published rather than discussing it in advance to check for misunderstandings. 🙂

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TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee were interviewed twice–once for background, then the second time “for real” for the article.

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TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue Jr. has been named the recipient of the 2017 Challenge Korea (Global) Award. He will be receiving the award at a ceremony at the National Assembly on March 8.

 

[특파원 리포트] 탈북자 영어 말하기 대회…갈고 닦은 영어 실력 맘껏 발휘 by 김현진.
(reposted by Korean Headline News)
 
By John Max Redmond
The Korea Times
2018-02-26
Elizabeth Shim
United Press International
2018-02-24
 
Join the Teach North Korean Refugees Book Club
https://give.lovetnkr.com/en/Autograph

 

2018-02-13 경기일보 (Gyeonggi Newspaper)

2018-02-14 United Press International