Skip to main content

2019-10-18 Small Group Discussion 3, "I am from North Korea"

Tonight we wrapped up our "I am from North Korea" Small Group Discussion series with three North Korean refugees giving speeches in English. They all joined TNKR at different levels.

One was a basic level speaker, joining us in 2013. At that time, she didn't show her face and for years we had to censor every photo with her in it. Another speaker joined us at a high level in 2015. And another speaker joined us nearly fluent in 2018.

They all gave great speeches tonight while barely checking their notes, and one speaker didn't bring any notes at all.

These small group discussions are a great chance for speakers to improve their public speaking ability, gain confidence, and hear the types of questions people are asking about North Korea, North Koreans, and North Korean refugees. They can do so in a non-pressure environment with an audience that is eager to hear from them.








We never rush any refugees to the stage, we want them to go at their own speed, or no speed at all if they decide public speaking isn't for them. I do remind people that not all North Korean refugees are like this, we have had 429 refugees study in TNKR since 2013, but only about 50 or so have studied in Track 2.

I realize that some people would like me to do a play-by-play description of these events, but I don't want to overexpose speakers. Some people think they have "got" a refugee's story based on hearing it once, but they don't realize that refugees continue developing their speeches, based on practicing and studying, such speaking opportunities, hearing questions that are asked at such events, along with their own self-development and time to analyze their own lives. A speaker who gives a talk right after being released from Hanawon (a time that most reporters and researchers want to get them) will be different from a speaker who has had several years of living outside of North Korea and has some perspective.

***
Q & A
***

Then it was time for Q&A. Of course the speeches were all great, but the best time is Q&A. You can never be sure what the audience will ask about. Tonight's questions:

* How can more people in North Korea get access to information?
* What do the North Korean people feel about regime change?
* When you were escaping in China, did you learn Mandarin?
* What do you mean that you weren't allowed to travel in North Korea without a permit?
* What can foreigners do to help North Korean refugees?
* North Koreans believe the Kims are Gods. How did that change when they died?
* What kind of impact do sanctions have on North Koreans?
* When you first arrived in South Korea, what were the biggest differences that you detected?
* What is your feeling about TNKR?

Each speaker made really moving remarks about TNKR and about how wonderful the organization is. One speaker said that TNKR is "amazing," that "it is hard to meet kind people like this. In so many cases, people try to use refugees, but TNKR is really focused on helping North Korean refugees."

Another speaker mentioned that "TNKR's education system is different. Other organizations are to-down, but here, students can choose the teachers, the textbooks, or whatever they want to study. In North Korea, people must live passively, but this kind of system is completely different. In giving public speeches like this, my self-confidence has really increased."

The third speaker discussed how the students learn more than just English, "that each volunteer has his or her own story, cultural things, style. It is a new way for North Koreans who could not travel in their own countries to meet people from around the world while learning English."



Photo Time

Because all three speakers are public, photo time was easy! When even one speaker is reluctant then we must control things so no one posts a photo of someone who doesn't want it.








After that, we talked, a few attendees expressed interest in becoming volunteers with TNKR.


Tutor with TNKR: https://lovetnkr.org/tutor/
Mentor North Korean refugee youth, English speech contest https://lovetnkr.org/event/north-korean-refugee-youth-speech-contest/

Korean translation by Youngjoo Yoo: https://blog.naver.com/tnkr21/221686342496

Popular posts from this blog

Forgery or conspiracy? Memorandum 46

Here's an article I co-wrote that will appear in the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post . We'll be updating this page over the coming days. So check back for updates. Memorandum 46 timeline , as compiled by us. Audio from our last show on XM 169 before we got fired. That audio is divided into segments, this one is one large MP3 . Who says Memorandum46 is true? Former rep. Cynthia McKinney presents Memo 46 to the United Nations and defends it in a speech . Joe Madison presents Memo 46 at the annual Congressional Black Caucus gathering. Former D.C. delegate Walter Fauntroy, on the Joe Madison show on XM 169 (audio available, upon request) and on Michael Fauntroy's site Boyd Graves (see Exhibit 10 of his lawsuit against the government) The Final Call, with Brzezinski's name misspelled . Len Horowitz Blackelectorate.com Millions for Reparations Various discussion forums or discussants, such as: Greekchat , Jahness , Who says Memorandum 46 is a forgery? Brzezi

Park Jin welcoming remarks to FSI (and Casey Lartigue)

  National Assembly member Park Jin makes the welcoming remarks at FSI's conference featuring North Korean diplomats. Park Jin | Greeting message to FSI and Casey Lartigue mention - YouTube

The Casey Lartigue Show

Guests scheduled for May NOTE: Check here for updates on Memorandum 46! Future Shows Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution This is my first attempt at putting together my own promo , it was rejected because of the sound quality May 19 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show We had a great show yesterday, probably the best so far. The topic: Malcolm X. The occasion? Anniversary of his 82nd birthday. Eliot Morgan and I had a great time talking with the callers. Deneen Borelli called in on our special guest line. You can download the file here. We posed the question: What did Malcolm X do? We contrasted the viewpoint and legacies of Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall. The one mistake I made was not to focus on the question that Marshall asked: What was the one concrete thing that Malcolm X did. In segment 3, callers begin to get personal with us. May 12 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show Featured guest: Don Boudreaux of George Mason University Promo for the May 12 show May 5 edition of the C

2016-11-03 Who is Andrei Lankov?

Disclaimer: NK experts, please don't read this, there will be no rabbits pulled out of a hat. * * * Every couple of months, I meet up with Andrei Lankov to discuss various things. I first met him back in 2011, shortly before he spoke at an event I organized with the Center for Free Enterprise. I have read his articles for years, he has spoken at about four TNKR events over the years. When it comes to analyzing NK, he is one of the leading experts in the field. Last March, I was one of the organizers of the first (and perhaps last) International Volunteers Workshop, we had 227 RSVP in advance. I asked them all as part of the RSVP: "The keynote speaker will be Andrei Lankov. Had you heard of him before hearing about this event?" No: 133 Yes: 94 Even within those 94 "Yes" responses, I am sure there were various levels of awareness--such as some may have seen his name, others may have read some articles, and a few experts may have the Andrei La

2014-07-01 Happy Birthday, Joo Yeon Cho!

Can it be true? I have known Joo Yeon Cho for less than 9 months? Incredible! But I guess that's the way it is with Joo Yeon. I'm not surprised to see so many birthday messages coming from all over Korea and the world. She works for a company that could crush me and everyone I know, but she still calls me "Boss."^^ I checked my emails, she first emailed me back on October 14, and I was surprise d to see it was 2013, not 2012 or even earlier. She wanted to join as a volunteer at the Mulmangcho School. I quickly recognized she was a special lady. She didn't know it, but I had already decided that she would help me with a special project I had planned with Praise Ju that I was going to launch two days later. They hit it off, and the project took off! We are collaborating again--she started off as the first Academic Adviser in the Teach North Korean Refugees Project, and she is now our first External Coordinator. As I posted a few days ago, she regularly blows u