The 5th KASCer Seongmin Lee successfully completes the North Korean Human Rights Campaign in Geneva

성공적인 통일을 만들어가는 사람들(성통만사)이 지난 10~15일 스위스 제네바에서 진행한 북한 인권 캠페인을 성황리에 마치고 돌아왔다. 성통만사의 이번 캠페인은 국제사회에 북한 인권문제를 알리고 이를 개선하기 위한 목소리를 내는데 기여한 것으로 평가된다.

성통만사는 이번 제네바 방문에서 ▲제 21차 제네바 유엔 인권 이사회 참관 ▲대한민국 및 각국 대표부 방문 ▲국제 NGO 방문 ▲북한인권 야외 캠페인 등의 활동을 진행했다.

특히 14일에는 제네바 유엔본부에 위치한 영화상영실에 휴먼라이츠워치(Human Rights Watch) 등 국제기구 대표들을 초대해 북한 인권영화 ’48M’을 상영했다. 영화 상영 이후에는 김영일 성통만사 대표와 이성민 씨(한국외대 학생)의 탈북자 증언 시간도 이어졌다.

이자리에 참석한 국제기구 대표들은 “앞으로도 이런 영화들과 탈북자들의 증언을 자주 조직 했으면 좋겠다” “북한 인권에 대해서 말은 하지만 그 진상에 대해서 잘 아는 사람들이 그리 많지 않다. 좋은 이야기를 해주어서 고맙게 생각한다” 등의 참가 후기를 남겼다.

성통만사는 지난 10일 유엔본부 정문 앞에서 벌린 캠페인에서 북한주민을 상징하는 ‘Voiceless, Blinded, Truthless’라는 주제로 피켓 홍보와 포토존, 플래시몹, 탈북자와의 대화 등의 행사를 열기도 했다.

2006년 설립된 성통만사는 지난 7월 국내 북한인권 NGO중 최초로 유엔경제이사회(ECOSOC)로부터 유엔 각종 회의에 참석해 입장을 표명할 수 있는 ‘협의기구’ 지위를 받은 바 있다.

Interview of KASC alumna Kathy Hill at the University of Central Arkansas

In this interview, Kathy Hill (3rd KASC, member of the American Executive Committee) talks about her achievement in KASC and shares her thoughts on leadership. She is currently a volunteer at the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas where she finds courage and inspiration for her own life. Check out her interview and learn more about Kathy!

Jingu Jang (KASC 3 & 4) works as a intern at the Bain & Company

Jingu Jang (KASC 3& 4) has been working as a research assistant (RA intern) at the Bain & Company, a renowned global business consulting firm, from last February until this May. Even though the work is tough and he lacks sleep, he feels excited and motivated every single day. He believes he formed a great sense of responsibility and time management skills while preparing for the 4th KASC, and lessons from KASC helped him to be able to succeed in such a demanding job. Please wish him luck in his consulting career!

Kyle Routen (KASC 3 & 4) started a new job in Seattle

Kyle Routen (KASC 3 & 4) recently started a new job in Seattle, Washington, as an international legal assistant at AMPACC Law Group (http://www.ampacc.com/eng/). It stands for America Pacific, and it is Korean owned. It focuses on Intellectual Property, mainly patent law. A large part of the business – 80 to 85% –comes from Korean companies who want to patent their inventions in the U.S. The two biggest clients are ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) from Daejeon and HYNIX Semiconductor Inc. out of Icheon-si. Most of the patents focus on technology-based inventions, and therefore, other clients of the firm include several science-based research departments from big Korean Universities. The rest of the patent work comes from Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Germany, France, and Australia. They also have a few American clients based in the U.S. who already have their inventions patented here and work with the firm to get them legalized in those foreign countries.


 

Jeff Heerdink (KASC 2 & 3) is in an M.A. in West European Studies at Indiana University

Jeff Heerdink (KASC 2 & 3) represented Indiana University as a delegate to 2nd KASC in 2009 and was elected as a member of the Executive Committee for the 3th KASC in 2010. He also studied in Nanzan Univeristy in Nagoya, Japan for the fall semester in 2009.

Now he just finished the first year of an M.A. program in West European Studies at Indiana University.  This summer, he’ll be studying comparative public policy for a month in Speyer, Germany.  Additionally, he will be spending two months in Ankara, Turkey, studying the Turkish language through a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. State Department.  In the fall, he will be participating in a six-month graduate exchange fellowship with the Free University of Berlin.  If any KASCers are in Europe over the next year or so, they should message him to meet up!


 

Jacob Reidhead (KASC 1) with the North Korea immigrant community in a Fulbright year

Jacob Reidhead (KASC 1) is currently doing language training at Chengdu, China and will be going to doctoral program in sociology at Stanford University in Fall 2012. The following article is a report about the North Korea immigrant community when he stayed in South Korea. Let’s check out his article and learn more about his project.

A Fulbright Year Studying the South’s Emerging North Korean Immigrant Community
By Jacob Reidhead

Last year, I was fortunate to be awarded a Fulbright Junior Research Fellowship to conduct research in South Korea throughout the 2011-2012 academic year.  In a few brief paragraphs, I would like to share a few thoughts about conducting research in South Korea and what I learned about the North Korean immigrant community.

Prior to arriving in Korea last summer, I established a relationship with the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU).  Before I arrived, I had also set some goals: 1) complete my MA thesis, 2) become familiar with the North Korean immigrant community living in South Korea, and 3) collect some data and develop insights that would hopefully lead me closer to a topic for my PhD dissertation.  Upon arriving in Korea, I began associating with a number of college student groups, NGOs, and service projects centered on North Korean immigrants.  Through these various associations, I was able to make friends, network across organizations, and have conversations with Seoul’s NK immigrant community, as well as those South Koreans and foreigners who interact closely with that community.  I wanted to observe and listen before blindly implementing a project based on assumptions and second-hand information; so, for the first few months I attended events, conducted very general interviews, and surveyed websites, reports, and other published material to see what was already out there.

During the course of this exploratory research, I became increasingly interested in South Korea’s public discourse about North Korea and NK immigrants – and the diverse political, economic, and social networks that underlie that discourse.  In the last few months, I have directed my research toward the new wave of organizations being created by NK immigrants.  I am trying to understand the degree to which these organizations 1) fulfill unmet needs within the NK immigrant community, and 2) empower NK immigrants to join and shape SK’s discourse about NK, as well as the extent to which they are co-opted and instrumentalized by special interests outside of the NK immigrant community.  While my results are preliminary, I have found that few NK immigrant organizations are well integrated into pre-existing South Korean NGO and social networks.  This separation offers the advantages of relative autonomy and a protective enclave effect, but also gives rise to such disadvantages as outsider identities and weak engagement and influence within the mainstream.  Furthermore, I have also observed that the identity struggles faced by most NK immigrants when they first arrive in South Korea parallel the identity crisis faced by many NK immigrant organizations as they too struggle to find their distinct purpose, direction, and voice in South Korean society.

My Fulbright grant period has nearly ended, and yet I feel that my research has only begun to scratch the surface.  I will spend the next two months studying Mandarin Chinese at Sichuan University in Chengdu before entering Stanford University this fall to begin a PhD in sociology.  At Stanford, it is my plan to build on the results and intuition I acquired this year and to dig deeper into related domains of ethnic and national identity, NK-SK-U.S. relations, and contrasting capitalist and socialist modernities across the divided Koreas, Vietnams, and Chinas.  For those of you thinking about graduate school, research, or fellowships, or simply share my curiosity about any of these topics, feel free to email me at seouljake@gmail.com.  I am always on the look-out for future colleagues, collaborators, and Korea-hands.


 

Geonwoo Kang (KASC 4&5) receives Hallasan Development Fund

Mr. Geonwoo Kang, Korean Executive Committee of the 5th KASC, has recently been awarded two important scholarships: the Hallasan Development Fund (photo above) and the 2012 ETS TOEIC Scholarship.

Hallasan Co. is a local liquor company in Jeju Island. Every year, Hallasan Co. donates development funds to Jeju National University (JNU) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. This year, as a celebration of its 60th anniversary, JNU invited the local governor, Chairman of the Council as well as former deans of JNU to the Hallasan Development Fund Award Ceremony. Mr. Geonwoo Kang was among the 10 highly selected student winners of the Hallasan Co. scholarship and received the award as the student representative of JNU.


 

PhD Candidate Allen Kim (KASC 2) on Korean fatherhood.

Mr. Allen Kim, alumnus of KASC 2, is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Irvine. Allen recently returned to the U.S. after spending 2011 in Korea, furthering his research on Korean fatherhood through a grant from The Korea Foundation. Check out his website at www.koreanfather.com!