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Crash Landing into Freedom: The Stories of Former North Korean Soldiers

Crash Landing into Freedom: The Stories of Former North Korean Soldiers

In accordance with U.S. government travel advisories aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus in the United States, Hudson Institute asks that guests who have traveled to or from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea within the past two weeks to please refrain from attending events in person and instead to watch events online via Hudson’s livestream.

An RSVP does not guarantee entry into the event. Confirmed attendees will receive an email from [email protected]

Join Hudson Institute for an event with two former North Korean soldiers as they discuss their escapes from the hermit kingdom. U.S. Representative Ted Yoho will present keynote remarks on the need for greater freedom across Asia.

Weeks before critical diplomatic talks between the Trump administration and North Korea commenced, OH Cheong Seong successfully attempted a daring escape within the heavily guarded demilitarized zone. Under gunfire, Seong, a driver in a North Korean military police unit, drove a truck to the border and crossed by foot into South Korea. For the first time in public in the United States, he will discuss his escape and the factors that compelled him to flee.

LEE Unggil, a former solider in North Korea’s 11th Corps Special Forces who escaped while completing university studies, will explain the plight of North Korean soldiers and the motivations for those seeking freedom.

Panelists will give insight into what life is like inside the country and describe why so many North Koreans, if given the choice, would choose freedom.

NOTE: This event is open to the press. All members of the media should RSVP to [email protected]


Dr. Patrick M. Cronin

Asia-Pacific Security Chair, Hudson Institute

Colonel Steve Lee, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Senior Vice President, Korea Defense Veterans Association

OH Cheong Seong

Former Driver in the North Korean Panmunjom Military Police Unit of the Operations Bureau

LEE Unggil

Former Member of the North Korean People’s Army 11th Corps Special Forces and Member of the North Korean People’s Liberation Front

Congressman Ted Yoho

U.S. Representative, Florida's 3rd District, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation

Hudson Experts