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: 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