The North Korea Strategy Center U.S. Inc. (NKSC US) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization. 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 U.S., Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt registered organization.
As a defector-led organization, NKSC US believes that North Koreans are leading change in North Korea. We accelerate this people powered change by providing a platform for North Korean voices. Our programs empower North Koreans within the country with access to information, while supporting defectors outside of North Korea with leadership development programs and international support networks.
NKSC US seeks to protect and honor the confidentiality of defectors, members, and supporters throughout all of its activities.
Board of Directors:
Chairman Kang Cheol Hwan
Chief Executive Officer Peter Lee
Kang Cheol Hwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mr. Kang Cheol Hwan was born in 1968 in Pyongyang, North Korea. At age 9, Mr. Kang was sent along with his family to Yodok Concentration Camp after his grandfather was accused of treason. He spent 10 years in the prison camp, suffering brutal conditions, starvation and hard labor. After being released, Mr. Kang eventually escaped North Korea, crossing into China in 1992 and eventually reaching South Korea. In 2000, he published the autobiographical “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”, the very first survivor’s account of North Korea’s concentration camps. In 2003, he was awarded the National Endowment of Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and in 2006, he was selected as one of Time Magazine’s “Asian Heroes”. In 2007, Mr. Kang established NKSC in Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Kang is a contributing author to the Chosun Ilbo on North Korean issues.
Peter Lee, Chief Executive Officer
Peter Lee is Chief Executive Officer of NKSC US. Mr. Lee began his career as a program officer for human rights in North Korea project at the Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights and democracy organization in 2005 and has managed a federal grant program commissioned by the U.S. Congress pursuant to the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004. In this capacity, Mr. Lee hosted three major international conferences on human rights in North Korea in Washington D.C., Seoul and Brussels through the federal grant program, and accompanied the official visit to South Korea of the U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights, Mr. Jay Lefkowitz during the Bush Administration. Mr. Lee also hosted the first hearing of the North Korean defectors and human rights at the European Union Parliament in 2006, and commissioned two reports on the Crimes Against Humanity by the North Korean regime in 2007.
Mr. Lee has various work experiences in private sector, including being a corporate in-house counsel for an energy company and a private equity firm, and an adjunct professor of international law in South Korea. He has received J.D. and LL.M. degrees from the Michigan State University College of Law; and has completed certificate programs in public international law at the Notre Dame University London Law Centre and in Chinese legal system course at the China University of Political Science and Law.
North Korea Strategy Center (NKSC) was founded in Seoul in 2007 by human rights defender, Yodok Concentration Camp survivor, journalist, and author of “Aquariums of Pyongyang”, Kang Cheol Hwan. Born in Pyongyang, at age 9 Kang was sent along with his family to Yodok Concentration Camp after his grandfather was accused of treason. Kang was imprisoned for 10 years, subject to the brutal conditions of the camp including starvation, dangerous and exhausting hard labor, and the constant threat of torture or execution.
After being released from Yodok, Kang bought an illegal radio receiver and was able to listen to broadcasts coming from South Korea. These broadcasts provided a glimpse into a world previously unknown to Kang, and influenced his decision to escape from North Korea. In South Korea, Kang worked as a journalist for Chosun Ilbo for over seven years and became a prominent human rights defender, championing North Korean human rights internationally. Kang’s personal experience lent him particular insight into the power of information and independent media in nurturing individual self-determination, broadening worldviews and developing an informed citizenry – a citizenry then empowered to play an active role in realizing a North Korea representative of its people.
With this focus in mind, NKSC works to engage and empower the defector community to bring increased awareness and understanding of North Korea’s human rights conditions, emphasizing the need for fundamental freedoms in North Korea as a key precondition of a peaceful, unified Korea. In 2015, NKSC US was established in New York as the first international office of the organization.
We are proud to have a global committed team of staff, interns and volunteers who contribute their talents to our work- see where we all hail from!