Press Release — HRF to Host U.S. Launch of Sages Group on North Korean Human Rights on 10/27 in NYC


Next Thursday October 27 Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and the Yonsei Center for Human Liberty will co-host a dialogue in New York City for the U.S. launch of the Sages Group on North Korean Human Rights. For information about time and place or to register to attend, please contact Noemi Gonzalo-Bilbao at (212) 246-8486 or

The Sages Group was established in June 2016 to inspire conversation and action on the crimes against humanity being committed by the Kim Jong-Un regime in North Korea. The five founding members participating in HRF's event are Marzuki Darusman, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea; Robert King, United States Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues; Michael Kirby, former Chair of the United Nations commission of inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK; Sang-Hyun Song, former President of the International Criminal Court; and Jung-Hoon Lee, Republic of Korea Ambassador for North Korean Human Rights.

“The North Korean government’s crimes against humanity are well-documented now,” said Ambassador Jung-Hoon Lee. “But this awareness has yet to lead to meaningful action that could make a difference. The Sages Group will put North Korea’s human rights violations into the world discussion and push for action to hold the totalitarian regime accountable,” said Lee.

The Sages Group’s mission is to uphold the goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to apply its founding principles to the situation in North Korea. In an effort to sustain the momentum created by the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, the Sages Group seeks to: 1) provide leadership in raising international awareness; 2) find the best way possible to bring about actual change; 3) compel the United Nations Security Council to take the North Korean human rights agenda to the next level; and 4) facilitate a medium for dialogue, discourse, and other means that could lead to tangible progress.

At the upcoming meeting, issues to be discussed include the Security Council's referral of Kim Jong-Un to the International Criminal Court; a more comprehensive boycott of the North Korean regime that includes sports and tourism; freedom of information; China’s continued violation of its non-refoulement obligation; and expectations of the new Secretary General on North Korea.

Other members of the Sages Group include former member of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, Sonja Biserko; Baron Alton of Liverpool, David Alton; and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea, Vitit Muntarbhorn.

The Yonsei Center for Human Liberty supports the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea, provides a foundation and leading voice in raising awareness of human rights violations, and urges countries to play a more active role in holding the North Korean regime accountable.

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.