Liberty in North Korea
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Torrance, California, United States, and Seoul, South Korea. The organization rescues North Korean refugees hiding in China and resettles them in South Korea or the United States, so that they can avoid being forcibly repatriated back to North Korea, where they can face harsh punishments as a result of illegally emigrating. The refugees first travel from China to Southeast Asia through what the organization calls a modern-day ""Underground Railroad"", where they can then be processed and travel to South Korea (or occasionally, the United States) where they are recognized as refugees. From there, LiNK helps the refugees through its resettlement programs. Each rescue costs approximately $3,000 USD, and includes $500 for resettlement programs. As of July 2015, LiNK has resettled 370 refugees throughout the U.S. and South Korea.LiNK also seeks to raise awareness of human rights issues in North Korea through media production, conducting research, and through semiannual tours. The organization has produced several feature-length documentaries, including Danny from North Korea and Bridge to North Korea in 2013 and The People's Crisis and the SHIFT campaign video in 2012. The organization has a Research & Strategy department, led by Sokeel Park and based in Seoul, that conducts research on North Korean issues with an emphasis on human rights issues. The organization views this as being contrary to many other NGOs and governments that emphasize the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and other national security issues.Tours consist of five vans each with three or four ""Nomads"", or volunteer traveling representatives, who deliver presentations at high schools, colleges and universities, churches, and other venues. Many of these tours are accompanied by campaigns, which have a theme that the Nomads and the organization in general emphasize. The most recent campaign was Jangmadang, named after the Korean word for ""market"" that is used by North Koreans to refer to the black markets that have proliferated in the country since the collapse of the state-run food distribution system in the late 1990s.Rescue missions are funded through donations and Rescue Teams, which are groups based in universities, high schools, and other venues that raise funds for refugee rescues through bake sales, concerts, and other fundraising activities. As of July 2015, there were 347 Rescue Teams that have raised a total of $396,045, enough for 151 refugee rescues.