North Korean defector to tell of his incredible journey

North Korean soldiers look south

An Incredible Journey – that’s the title of an upcoming talk by North Korean defector Seongmin Lee, the first pioneer of the HanVoice Pioneers Project (HPP).

Lee, 26, fled North Korea in 2009 and resettled in South Korea in 2010. A student of foreign languages at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, he has been active in the North Korean human rights movement through organizations such as Seoul-based PSCORE. He is also the first North Korean to testify before the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee in English.

The talk will take place Thursday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 3:30pm, at 305 York Lanes, Keele campus. Lunch will be provided. As seating is limited, RSVP by Dec. 10.

Lee’s interest in leadership and activism, coupled with his community involvement, made him the ideal candidate to be the first pioneer of the HPP, a one-of-a-kind program providing advocacy and leadership training to North Korean refugees.

Currently, Lee is completing an internship at MP Barry Devolin’s office in Ottawa, Ont., as part of the HPP. He has been enjoying all things Canadian, including the cold weather.

For more information, contact the York Centre for Asian Research at