Students Call for Humanitarian Aid to Assist North Korean Refugees

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 University of Washington (UW) students recently learned about North Korean refugees from a perspective not normally given voice in mainstream media: that of a North Korean refugee.

On Thursday, March 7, the UW chapter of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding North Korean refugees, held an on-campus screening of the documentary “Danny From North Korea.” The 30-minute film deals with Korean refugee Danny Lee’s escape from North Korea to the U.S., outlining his family’s hardships during the North Korean famine of the 1990s.

“Because of the hardships I experienced in North Korea, I went to China,” Lee said in documentary. “In China, I found out about LiNK and through LiNK, I decided to go to North America.”

Lee’s widowed mother, who supported her family by harvesting and selling food in a market, traveled to China numerous times in 1997 to find other sources of income.
“[In China], my mom’s eyes for the first time were opened to the outside world, and to the lies she had been told,” Lee said.

When she did not return from China during one visit, Lee decided to flee the country and search for his mother. He was 17 at the time. “Danny in North Korea” shows the poignant reunion of Lee and his mother, his life in the U.S., and also documents his current work with LiNK.

While Lee was not actually in attendance, LiNK intern Mike Thompson shared his experience living with him in Torrance, Calif. after the film showing. Read more here.