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Music, market and meeting defectors among N.K. events

A concert was to be held Thursday to raise funds for North Korean defectors.

The concert was being held as part of a week of events to mark charity Justice for North Korea’s fourth anniversary.

Funds raised at the events are to be sent to North Korean women and children living in China and other countries.

Woo Yeo Hwang, President of the National Assembly Human Rights Forum and member of the GNP was to speak ahead of musical recitals including Beethoven, Tchaikovski and Liszt to follow as the first part of the event.

For the second part, Kim Hye-sook, who spent 28 years in a North Korean prison camp, was to give a testimony at the event titled “The Concert for Love and Freedom of North Korea.”

The event has been organized by Hanawoolim, a nongovernmental organization that arranges various music performances, to help North Korean defectors in South Korea and China. Musicians in the organization have pledged to hold concerts until the day of reunification between the North and the South.

“At present in China, every day numerous North Korean defectors face hunger, abuse, and disease,” a Hanawoolim spokesman told The Korea Herald.

“The Chinese government cooperates with the North Korean regime with compulsory repatriation of North Korean defectors through public security officers. Because of this, North Korean defectors in China have to live a life shaking with anxiety, leading to human rights social issues in China such as labor exploitation, sexual trafficking and child beggars. This concert is part of an effort to help them.”

The spokesman added that the fund-raising concert was also to inform more people about these circumstances in North Korea and to help promote the campaign for “The North Korean Human Rights Act” in the South Korean National Assembly.

There was no entrance fee, but donations were accepted. The concert was to start at 4 p.m. at the South Korean National Assembly Memorial Hall in Seoul. All attendees must bring I.D. to enter the building.

On Friday, the “Yoduk Story” documentary is then to be screened at the University of Seoul at 7 p.m. The screening will not have English subtitles.

A fund-raising fleamarket is also to be held on Saturday at Sinseol-dong station, with proceeds going to JFNK.

The program will be rounded off with a Young North Korean Defectors forum where North Koreans now studying at Seoul universities will share their experiences with the public. The event to be held at the University of Seoul will run from 5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. with English translators on hand.

By Kirsty Taylor 
catch table
Korea Herald daum