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Human Rights Activist Honored by Time
by Kang Chol-hwan (nkch@chosun.com)
The 70-year-old South Korean human rights activist Kim Sang-hun is honored in the April 28 edition of Time magazine, in a section called "Asian Heroes 2003."
During the 1970s, Kim worked for the local branch of Amnesty International, and led a lonely fight against the oppressive military regime. Twenty years later he began working for other international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Program and the World Food Program, where he continued to work on behalf of the suppressed and downtrodden. Such experiences became the foundation for his current effort to publicize the human rights violations in North Korea and help North Korean defectors.
Kim has been collecting information about the conditions for North Korean defectors living all across China, and publicizing this knowledge to the international community. He also works to give the defectors refugee status.
He played a significant role in the European Union's submission of a resolution to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to censure Pyongyang for its human rights abuses. Kim flew to Geneva with North Korean defectors and staged press conferences and street campaigns, and worked to persuade representatives from each nation to support the resolution.
Kim Young-ja, from the civic group the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, has worked with Kim Sang-hun for the past 10 years, and says that Kim is a great man who everyone would have recommended for the Time magazine honor.
by Time Magazine

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