Exploring Asian Societies Together (EAST) will host members from Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an organization that strives to spread awareness about the crisis in North Korea, on Friday, Feb. 25 in history instructor John Langdon’s room, C220.
At lunch, representatives from LiNK’s headquarters in Torrance, California, will speak, show video clips about North Korean refugees, hold a question and answer session and sell merchandise to raise money for their cause.
All proceeds will go towards helping refugees of North Korea. EAST also plans to send LiNK the money they make at EAST Feast on Feb. 28, a lunch featuring a variety of East Asian food, snacks and drinks for sale.
Since 1948, North Korea has functioned as an isolated and impoverished communist nation under the dictatorial leadership of first Kim Il-sung and now his son, the 70 year-old Kim Jong-il. Millions of people in North Korea have died of starvation, been imprisoned in labor camps and fled in the hopes of finding food, money, protection and freedom.
Annie Cho ’12, EAST co-president, said that this year club members were very interested in LiNK. According to the LiNK website, the organization supports “a movement of activists empowered by the stories of refugees and motivated by the urgency of the issue.”
“We want to bring attention to the North Korean crisis as a whole,” EAST co-president Nicole Lim ’12 said. “We hope to raise awareness about the harsh lives of refugees even once they are out of North Korea.”
Lim said that EAST members believe this organization fights for a worthwhile cause and deserves their support. In light of their decision, Lim contacted LiNK’s West Coast Regional Manager, Brenda Abeli, and asked if LiNK would want to come and give a presentation at Marlborough.
Along with wanting to educate people on the conflict going on in North Korea, Cho said she also has a personal connection to Korea. Her entire extended family lives in South Korea, and her mother was there in November when the North issued its most violent attack on the South in decades.
“I was really worried and called them immediately after it showed up on the news, but my parents and my grandparents weren’t worried at all,” Cho said. “They were mourning for those who lost their lives in the attack and they were surprised, but they didn’t think it was a huge threat. For me, it was really scary, but for my grandparents and my parents I think they were kind of used to it and North Korea misbehaving.”
EAST’s ultimate goal is to raise $2,500 through EAST Feast and the merchandise sold on Feb. 25.
To support EAST and its efforts and to learn a little more about the conflict going on in North Korea, go to C220 on Feb. 25 to see LiNK’s presentation and buy food from EAST Feast on Feb. 28.