|NKHR at Seoul’s 2015 Reunification Expo|
NKHR at Seoul’s 2015 Reunification Expo
From May 29 to 31, 2015, NKHR joined Seoul’s 2015 Reunification Expo, located in central Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square. The event, hosted by South Korea’s Ministry of Reunification, aimed to accelerate reunification efforts on the Korean Peninsula. The expo was held in commemoration of Korea’s 70th anniversary of independence from colonial rule under Japan. Numerous citizens and organizations participated in the Expo, helping the draw the blueprint of a unified Korea.
NKHR had a booth at the expo based on our 2014 art exhibition about children in North Korea, “Kkotjebi in Bloom.” On display was artwork by Chunhyok Kang, a painter from North Korea who resettled in South Korea in 2001. Two life-sized cut-outs portrayed the impoverished condition of homeless orphans in North Korea.
Observing the International week of the Disappeared, NKHR also put up a banner with pictures and accounts of the 516 South Korean citizens that were abducted and remain forcibly disappeared by North Korea. In commemoration of the week of the disappeared, NKHR distributed a public statement by the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)—of which NKHR is a member—appealing for the public’s support in ending enforced disappearances worldwide.
Hundreds of people visited the booth to learn about the reality of human rights in North Korea. Especially, the life-sized cut-out—drawn by Chunhyok Kang—of a famished North Korean catching a rat to eat attracted many passersby, particularly children, most of whom had not been familiar with the difficulties their North Korean brothers and sisters face on a daily basis. Several citizens expressed great enthusiasm for helping North Korean refugees in China, South Korean victims of disappearance, and improving the human rights situation in the North.
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