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Bridging the Policy Gap between North Korean Human Rights and Security Threats

  • 214 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)

North Korea remains in the international spotlight as Pyongyang and Washington continue to differ over the diplomatic path to denuclearization. Despite the continued focus on the security threat, North Korean human rights are largely absent from policy discussions. To get a better sense of how human rights fits into the Kim regime’s broader strategic calculus, three former members of the North Korean regime will discuss Kim Jong-un's strategy for maintaining power, his nuclear weapons programs, and insights on the current situation within North Korea.

Then, a panel of distinguished U.S. experts on North Korea will focus on ways that the U.S. government can better integrate human rights into ongoing negotiations and explore the mechanisms available to hold the North Korean regime accountable for their poor human rights record.

This program is part of North Korea Freedom Week, devoted to promoting the freedom, human rights and dignity of the people of North Korea, which first began in 2004.

Panel 1 – Exploring Kim Jong-un’s Strategy:
Views from High Ranking North Korean Defectors

Huh Kwang-il, Head of the Committee for Democratization of North Korea

Kim Heung-kwang, Head of the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity

Kim Seong-min, Founder and Director, Free North Korea Radio


Moderated by

Suzanne Scholte

President, Defense Forum Foundation


Panel 2 – Human Rights as a Critical Component of North Korea Policy

Dr. Robert King, Former U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues

Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

Olivia Enos, Policy Analyst, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation


Moderated by

Bruce Klingner

Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia, The Heritage Foundation

Earlier Event: April 30
Labor 101