Escape from North Korea:
The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad
Wednesday, September 19
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
"As captivating as a thriller, but unlike a thriller it is morally compelling."
Escape from North Korea (Encounter Books) is a rare good-news story from the world's most repressive state—a compelling account of the people who dare to escape and the Good Samaritans who help them.
In her new book, Hudson Senior Fellow and former Wall Street Journal editorial board member Melanie Kirkpatrick describes the secret network of safe houses and transit routes that carry North Koreans hiding in China to safety in neighboring countries. The conductors are brokers motivated by money, as well as Christians motivated by faith. In violation of its obligations under international treaties, China's policy is to repatriate the North Koreans and arrest their rescuers.
Just as escaped slaves from the American South educated Americans about the evils of slavery, the North Korean fugitives are informing the world about the secretive country they fled. They are also sowing the seeds for change within North Korea itself by channeling news back to their information-starved homeland. They are a bridge to a free and unified Korea.
Author Melanie Kirkpatrick, along with Prof. Jae Ku, Director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); Suzanne Scholte, chair of the North Korea Freedom Coalition; and Kim Seong-min, North Korean defector and founder of Free North Korea Radio, held an eye-opening discussion of the book. Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, moderated.