NKSC specializes in research carried out amongst the defector community, conducting pioneering research on North Korea in cooperation with international experts and organizations.

We believe that deeper understanding of the particular conditions in North Korea, especially those impacting human rights, is necessary in order to dispel harmful stereotypes while informing sound decision-making towards North Korea.

Previous research includes: ‘North Korea – Media and IT Infrastructure‘ (2015), a survey of the ICT landscape in North Korea, assessing North Koreans’ use of cell phones, computers, external storage devices and other ICT devices to communicate with each other under the current information controls imposed by the government; and The Conditions of North Korean Overseas Labor’ (2013) an investigation into the use, and abuse, of North Korean laborers dispatched for overseas work assignments under exploitative conditions.

Find an updated catalogue of NKSC’s research at Learn.



Recognizing the pivotal role that young defectors will play in the future of the Korean peninsula, NKSC empowers and develops leaders among the North Korean defector community.

We run initiatives designed to foster leaders among the defector community, growing their personal and professional capacity through programs such as Journalist Academy, Unification Education in South Korea, and international speaking tours. Having experienced living in both North and South Korea, young defectors are uniquely placed to speak to the vast cultural, social, political and economic differences between North Korea and the rest of the world.

In 2016, NKSC U.S. will launch a new leadership and exchange program for young defectors, providing an international capacity-building program based in the US.

For more details and if you are keen to support this program as a mentor, sponsor or organization partner, please email



NKSC promotes access to information in North Korea, seeking to promote an informed citizenry by raising public consciousness of fundamental human rights and democracy.

North Koreans are subject to the most intense censorship and information controls in the world – a state of repression that further exacerbates the abysmal state of human rights in the country. Prohibited from using the Internet, accessing foreign media or engaging in free exchange with the world beyond its borders, North Koreans are deliberately kept in a state of impoverishment- both in economic terms and intellectual – by a totalitarian regime that places it’s own self-preservation before the needs of North Koreans themselves.

Since 2007, NKSC has pioneered efforts to increase information accessibility and exchange within North Korea, working with defector networks, international NGOs, agencies and activists to disseminate thousands of USBs (flash drives), DVDs and radios in the country with content that is informative, entertaining, educational and quite simply – offers the opportunity to encounter worldviews suppressed by the North Korea government.

As technological solutions to freedom of expression and information access in challenging regions become more sophisticated, NKSC continue to develop partnerships and research the most effective applications for North Korea.



NKSC raises public awareness and understanding of North Korean human rights issues.

We work internationally, partnering with schools, universities, NGOs, human rights organizations and others to hold events, seminars and meetings that increase public consciousness of human rights issues in North Korea, focusing particularly on issues around freedom of expression and access to information. In South Korea, our Unification Education programs facilitates visits to schools around the country for young North Korean defectors to share their personal experience in North Korea and views on achieving unification, while our ‘Strategies for Change: A Speaker Series on North Korea’ initiative invites the expatriate community in South Korea to hear from experts on a wide range of North Korea-related topics. Our overseas activities include supporting an annual North Korean human rights film festival in Hong Kong; speaking across the United States at Tufts Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Boston University, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins SAIS; as well as hosting numerous seminars.

By promoting deeper understanding of North Korea’s human rights challenges, NKSC seeks to inspire action and compel the international community to see North Korea in terms of possibilities.

For speaking requests or if you would like to hold an event with NKSC, please contact Sharon Stratton at