I was happy to celebrate Hwang Cheol's birthday a few days ago. I met him two years ago on March 2016. I had seen something about his case, but didn't know in detail. As I listened to him tell the story of his father being on an airplane that was hijacked to North Korea in 1969, I sent a message to TNKR co-founder Eunkoo Lee saying that we needed to get involved.
Even though we knew it would be a long shot, we have stayed with Mr. Hwang since then. Even if we couldn't do enough to get his father back, at least we didn't want him to be alone during his campaign. We have had many serious activities with Mr. Hwang, such as protesting before the UN office, going to Imjingak to protest with him, had a news conference at the press club, had an event at a human rights office, had a candlelight vigil.
Friday night was a chance to celebrate Mr. Hwang, raise some funds for his campaign, and try to inform more people about the case. (Read about the case in my Korea Times column, this long article translated from French, and this YouTube video).
Thank you to Youngmin Kwon and Amber Yothers for doing the main work behind the scenes to make the party happen. And of course, thank you to Reza Carr who opened his bar to allow us to have this party and Peter Daley for being the main musical performer.
If you couldn't make it, but would still like to support Mr. Hwang's campaign, any and all donations are accepted.