North Korean ‘underground railroad’ leads to Torrance

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LiNK is a group based right here in Southern California that helps North Korean refugees escape through an underground railroad and resettle them in South Korea or the United States. They also give scholarships, tutor English and provide asylum services to the refugees. So far, the non-profit has rescued and resettled more than 100 North Korean defectors.

LiNK also operates an online store
LiNK also operates an online store (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The group also wages a campaign for hearts and minds, by trying to change the image that most Americans have of North Korea. Every spring and fall they select 15 young people to come to their headquarters in Torrance as part of the Nomad program. These American twenty-somethings (some of them with parents from North Korea) live in the intern house together for six weeks and receive intensive training on public speaking, geopolitics and American policies towards North Korea. After the training, they will be sent across the country in 12 vans for the next 10 weeks. Each route is about 11,000 miles long and has around 100 events. These young people will live on their own expenses, sleep on people’s couches, and work up to 16 hours a day.

Producer Shako Liu made a visit to the offices of LiNK to speak with employees and volunteers about their work trying to change Americans’ idea about the most censored country on earth.