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In August 2009, PSCORE hosted an essay contest that encouraged university students to write about “Democracy and North Korea.” A wide variety of responses were received . Students expounded on North Korean politics, education, philosophy, literature, arts, and culture.  While all submissions were impressive, the winning essays focused on issues surround North Korean human rights.

The topics included improvements in North Korean human rights; systematic problems in North Korean society; the hastening of democratization in North Korean through literary exchange; and activities that university students could participate in to improve North Korean human rights.

The selection committee was comprised of three judges, who ranked the essays using a 100-point scale.  The winning essay, entitled Viewing North Korean Human Rights from Outside of Korea, was written by Geum-joo Kim, a North Korean defector who currently attends university in Seoul. The winning submission can be read by clicking on the attachment below.

The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Grand Prize: Geum-joo Kim
  • Distinguished Award:
    • Seo-young Sohn
    • Sung-nam Chung
  • Achievement Award:
    • Min-kyung Lee
    • Sang-young Lee
    • Ji-young Lee
    • In-ho Chang
    • Kwang-bae Choi