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 NKSC’s History


North Korea Strategy Center (NKSC) was established in 2007 by human rights activist ,journalist, and renowned author of “Aquariums of Pyongyang”, Kang Cheol Hwan. The organization focuses on the defector community to bring awareness of North Korea’s human rights conditions and bring changes for freedom and unification in Korea. While Kang Cheol Hwan lived in North Korea he remembers being influenced by foreign South Korean radio broadcasts which helped him decide to defect from the country after having lived 10 years in the Yodok Political Prison Camp. In South Korea, Kang worked as a journalist for over seven years and became a prominent human rights activist.

Understanding the power of media and information to open minds and bring change, NKSC is an organization that seeks to bring free press and media in North Korea by working with North and South Koreans and the international community educating on the need to have freedom of information and expression in the country. NKSC has carried out extensive research on looking at the effects and impacts of external media in the North Korean people and has carried out many seminars on information dissemination and control in North Korea. NKSC has always worked closely with the defector community with training and workshops. The organization also trains defectors journalists and has made significant impact in media by connecting defectors with media outlets.


NKSC’s Vision, Mission,and Strategies


We envision a free and open North Korea that upholds the fundamental human rights of all its people in a healthy democracy.


North Korea Strategy Center is a non-partisan think-tank that undertakes research and promotes action on North Korean issues based on principles of freedom of expression and freedom of information.



  • Raising Awareness – We raise public awareness and understanding of North Korean human rights issues
  • Information Dissemination –  We promote access to information through media dissemination in North Korea to raise public consciousness of human rights and democracy
  • Research – We engage the defector community to conduct the most relevant and up-to-date research on North Korea.


Keywords: Free flow of information, freedom of speech, open media, independent media, freedom of expression

 NKSC Accomplishments 


NKSC Partner Testimonials


north korea defector concern




“We were greatly honored to cooperate with NKSC to organize a film       festival on North Korea human rights in Hong Kong. The NKSC staff demonstrated expertise and enthusiasm for their work and played an important role in raising awareness about North Korea human rights among Hong Kong citizens.”

Owen Lau, Co-founder of North Korean Defectors Concern


Human Rights Foundation





” We at the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) have worked with the NKSC since 2010. In that time, we have been greatly impressed by NKSC’s capacity and impact, and believe it is one of the most essential organizations in existence working on human rights in North Korea. Under Kang Chol Hwan’s leadership and experience, NKSC is always on the cutting edge of getting information in and out of the country, so that North Koreans can learn more about the outside world, and so that outsiders can know more about what’s happening within. Mr. Kang and his staff are a pleasure to work with, unfailingly polite and kind and professional, and make up a very effective team. From HRF’s perspective, it would be hard to name a better and more knowledgable group to work with in the North Korea freedom space than NKSC.”

Alexander Gladstein, Human Rights Foundation