Casey Lartigue, recipient of Challenge Korea (Global) Award

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.


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TNKR English Speech Contest #7: My Little Big Heroes

[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
Elizabeth Shim
United Press International
Join the Teach North Korean Refugees Book Club


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2018-02-13 Human Rights Forum at the National Assembly–Media Roundup

2018-02-13 경기일보 (Gyeonggi Newspaper)

2018-02-14 United Press International




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2018-02-03 TNKR in the LA Times

Los Angeles Times front page article: Koreas’ unified women’s hockey team has exposed a key difference between South and North — their language

Some immigrants from the North — who risk their lives to leave — face difficulty and discrimination in the South because they lack vocabulary or use differing dialects and accents. Others struggle with cultural assimilation that’s related to language, such as not understanding jokes or an unfamiliarity with pop culture references, said Lee Eunkoo, who co-founded an organization that helps defectors.

“One of the refugees we taught had the experience of being fired from her job at a bakery because she didn’t know the exact bread names, such as ‘baguette,’ ” said Lee, whose group is called Teach North Korean Refugees.

Three-quarters of the North Koreans said official terms in the South — like those for government, banking and medical interactions — were confusing.

“In the North, we try to use Korean in education and sports, whereas here they tend to just use the terms as they are,” said Ken Eom, a North Korean who defected to Seoul eight years ago.

LA Times Front Page_4 Feb (PDF)

LA Times page 4, mentions TNKR (PDF)




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2018-01-10 VOA report about TNKR, in English and Korean


A Seoul-based non-profit providing free English learning opportunities for North Korean refugees is gaining a lot of attention. Founded in 2013, the Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR) has provided its services to over 320 North Korean refugee students. Kim Hyun-jin reports from Seoul.

The Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR), located in a small corner of Seoul’s Mapo area. In a humble room of 15 pyeong, a North Korean woman in her 40s is studying English one-on-one with an American volunteer tutor.

She is still at the level of learning numbers in English, but she carefully listens to her tutor’s explanations and does her best to follow.

Founded in March 2013, TNKR, as its name suggests, has taught English to over 320 North Korean refugees.

Hear from Casey Lartigue, the co-founder of the organization: Read more

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2018-01-10 ZDF Television

*  ZDF Public Television, News segment on TNKR starts at the 24 minute mark (in German), 2018-01-10.

Here’s a summary, as provided by TNKR translator Karin Hanna.


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2017-12-27 북한이탈주민의 한국 정착 돌파구, 영어! 그리고 TNKR in Leadership Korea Magazine



북한이탈주민의 한국 정착 돌파구, 영어! 그리고 TNKR


2018-01-06 Global Journalist: “An American in Seoul helps North Korean refugees”

An American in Seoul helps North Korean refugees,” by Rayna Sims in the Global Journalist.

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TNKR in USA Today: “North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English”

“North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English”

Thomas Maresca, Special to USA TODAY


PDF of tear sheets

2018-01-02 TNKR in USA Today (1)

2018-01-02 TNKR in USA Today (2)


2017-11-12 Reporters are noticing TNKR again…

TNKR doesn’t have a media list, we don’t reach out to media, and our communications “team” is made up of volunteers helping out in their free time.

Despite that, media stumbles upon us sometimes and does stories. They don’t always mention TNKR in their stories and sometimes they just mention us in passing. As I recall, the interviews this week were with reporters from Sweden, Yonhap, the UK, USA.

I suspected that Trump’s visit to South Korea was part of the reason that reporters happened to find us, but only one was in town for Trump.

Read more