A Tale of Two Korean Americans

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                          I have come across the lives of two Korean Americans who could not be more
different. One is Christine Ahn, and the other is Suki Kim. Christine Ahn, who works for and is a leader
of the Korea Solidarity Committee, is pro-North Korea and has visited North Korea at least three times.
She has never been known to say one bad word about North Korea, and had opposed legislation to
help fund programs to help North Korean refugees trying to escape from North Korea. Lately, she was
at first denied to board a flight to go to South Korea to take part in an anti-THAAD march. But then
suddenly this decision was reversed and she can now go to South Korea. There is no question that
the Korea Solidarity Committee has some connections to the current government under Moon Jae-in.
What I find sad is that this person is able to demonstrate in a free and democratic society in favor of
a totally closed one-party state. This brings me to Suki Kim. A well known Korean American writer,
she risked life and limb to go to North Korea to know what the conditions in that country are like. Posing
as a missionary who posed as an English teacher, she was able to get a teaching position at Pyongyang
University of Science and Technology—ironically a private institution founded by Evangelical Christian
organizations but which operates under the total control and guidance of the Korean Workers Party. Suki
Kim taught North Korean students for six months, and learned that while they eagerly wanted to learn,
they lived in constant fear and could not tell her what they really thought or felt because they knew they
and their families were not safe. The university itself is isolated from the rest of Pyongyang and is guarded
by female soldiers 24 hours a day and seven days a week. During that time, Suki Kim had no contact
with the female soldiers, and was completely restricted while working on campus. Her book Without
You, There is No Us, is a completely scary account to read, and in my view it is a miracle she got in and
got out alive.