Lavish meals and North Korean human rights collide at Seoul’s glitzy conferences | NK News
June 18, 2024
Features

Lavish meals and North Korean human rights collide at Seoul’s glitzy conferences

Yoon has put human rights at center of inter-Korean policy, but activists voice unease about optics of glamorous events

In the grand ballroom of a five-star Seoul hotel, the spotlight turned to a North Korean defector. She related her harrowing experience of escaping from the DPRK, and she burst into tears describing how she became “like a dead body” when forcibly repatriated, her weight dropping from 126 pounds to just 60.

But in the audience, few of the distinguished guests in attendance appeared to listen to her emotional remarks. They milled about the room busily networking, as hotel staff navigated dozens of tables to serve appetizers — tuna tataki with yuzu dressing.

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