N. Korean Defectors Found L.A. Refugee Government

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North Korean refugee government chairman Kwang-hyeok Choi (left) and commissioner Bo-uhl Cho introducing the upcoming launching ceremony.
North Korean refugee government chairman Kwang-hyeok Choi (left) and commissioner Bo-uhl Cho introducing the upcoming launching ceremony.

Seven North Korean defectors who have settled in the United States are establishing a “refugee government” in Los Angeles.

The organization will strive to promote the need for human rights in North Korea by pressuring the country’s oppressive communist regime.

Additionally, the refugee government will be established in western, central and eastern region of the U.S. to develop a wider network among North Korean defectors. In an official statement, the organization said that its three goals are to create a network for North Korean defectors around the world, to demolish the North Korean regime and to ultimately contribute to the reunification of the two Koreas.

“It’s difficult to expect a change in the current North Korean regime,” said Kwang-hyeok Choi, the organization leader who defected from North Korea in September 2012 before arriving in the U.S. as a refugee a year later. “The country is run by the Kim dynasty. They’re going to try to maintain the same system 100, 200 years from now as well.”

The refugee government also stressed that it will always prioritize instilling human rights in North Korea.

“Seven members have already signed up for the Southern California refugee government,” said commissioner Bo-uhl Cho, who came to the U.S. in December 2015 after defecting North Korea in 2002. “We’re going to establish a board of directors and a support system to educate the world about the realities in North Korea.”

The North Korean refugee government will also host the inaugural North Korean Refugee Government Conference in L.A. from June 17 to 27. The conference will display North Korean literatures, films, defectors’ testimonies and roadmap for the refugee government.

Also, the launching ceremony for the refugee government will be held on March 11 at 4 p.m. at a church (3407 W. 6th St. #412, (213) 858-1988).

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification recently opined that a refugee government established by defectors is not ideal, as the best case scenario for North Korea is to make radical changes from within.

By Hyoung Jae Kim