|[February 2004] Press Conference|
February 29 2004 - The press conference of the Fifth International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees was held in the conference hall at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, at 2:00pm before the opening session in Sejm (www.hfhrpol.waw.pl).
There was an abrupt change of the venue two days before the conference from Sejm to the Foundation, and the organizers swiftly announced the changes but was anxious not many reporters would show up. However, unlike confirmed at the beginning of only a couple of participation from the media, more than 90 journalists, cameraman showed up to make a big crowd of the conference hall in the Foundation.
Media from all over the world covered the heartfelt stories of the North Koreans and about the conference which was to open in few hours after that. These media included number of domestic media, i.e. daily - Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Polish News Station TVN24 (Poland), Fuji TV, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) (Japan), Wallstreet Journal (USA), BBC, Canal Plus(France), Chosun Ilbo (Korea) and many more .
With Prof. Hong moderating the whole session, and Prof. Rzeplinski giving an opening remark, the five North Koreans presented their reflections of the experiences they had to go through, in tears.
Many appreciations go to Prof. Jae Chun Won of Handong Global University who interpreted the tesimonies into English and also to Ms. Soonhyung Kim into Polish.
The press conference ended with the North Koreans receiving a standing loud warm hands of applause in commendment of their courageousness to share their pains and stories.
The interests and attention on the North Korean human rights issue from the international media was very encouraging.