NGOs in Action: Engage Korea

April 14, 2015 7:00 AM

This blog has an interest in the variety of ways that NGOs might productively engage North Korea. A relatively new NGO we had missed is pursuing an interesting model. Engage Korea is a student-driven initiative led by Ye Jin Kang and Stina Jinsun Bae. Kang is a student at Harvard Medical School who did a stint at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology managing outreach and Bae is a Ph.D. candidate at Copenhagen Business School who has done research on Sweden’s engagement with the DPRK. The latter is interesting because of some quiet training efforts the Swedes have run; we will cover Bae's work on this subject.

What is distinctive about the model is the effort to cultivate a global network of students, junior scholars, and practitioners by providing education on the DPRK that might inform the work of other NGO start-ups. The group has done this by organizing or supporting more standard conferences on humanitarian engagement with the DPRK (Oxford in May 2013, Harvard September 2014, and one scheduled in Cambridge for December 2015). But they will also experiment shortly with an online course (with a simple application process) focused on health: the overall state of the healthcare system, building capacity, the TB problem, and the challenges of operating on the ground in the DPRK. If it works, this is a model that could achieve global reach and could be scaled to other issue areas.

NGOs in Action Posts

Witness to Transformation is always interested in showcasing NGOs doing humanitarian and human rights work on North Korea; if you know of organizations or work that would be of interest to our readers, feel free to inform us. These posts are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement.


Rainer Rippe

Stephan Haggard quoted by Deutsche Welle -. Expulsions hinder foreign NGO activities in North Korea:

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Stephan Haggard Senior Research Staff

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