Outside Looking In: Everyday Life in North Korea


Featuring outspoken defector Jin Hye Jo, this expert panel offers a rare look at what life is really like inside North Korea. Its people have endured poverty, malnutrition and famine, and gross human rights violations, including forced labor camps, public executions, and political repression. But our understanding of everyday life in North Korea and how it is changing is exceptionally limited. Most of the country is off limits to foreigners, and what coverage there is in Western media is heavily focused on the vagaries of the regime’s ruling Kim dynasty and its nuclear weapons program.

What are work, school, and family life like for its 24.5 million citizens? How have social and human rights conditions changed under Kim Jong-un’s reign? Who are the tens of thousands of North Korean defectors and what is life like for them today in other countries? For those who remain, is international aid reaching those who need it most?


Jin Hye Jo, North Korean defector living in the U.S. since 2008; Founder, North Korean Refugees in the United States (NKUS) 
Sandra Fahy, Professor of Anthropology and North Korea expert, Sophia University (Tokyo)
Blaine Harden, Author, Escape from Camp 14; Former correspondent, Washington Post
Philip Yun (moderator), Executive Director, Ploughshares Fund

Promotional Co-Sponsors: Human Rights Watch, Korean American Chamber of Commerce of the North Pacific Coast, Liberty in North Korea, Ploughshares Fund, UC Berkeley Center for Korean Studies, UC Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies

Program Agenda:

5:30 - 6:00 pm: Registration
6:00 - 7:30 pm: Discussion/Audience Q&A
7:30 - 8:00 pm: Reception


Event Details

Tue 17 Sep 2013
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Asia Society Bechtel Conference Room 500 Washington St. San Francisco
Buy Tickets
$10 Asia Society/Co-Sponsor Members/Students; $15 Non-Members
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