KFAUSA Delegation Report from KFA International Meeting 2016 Dublin Ireland

The 2016 International Meeting of the Korean Friendship Association was a great success.

I represented the KFAUSA Delegation. It was a great experience! Good people and good times, it was an honor to represent the KFAUSA. Many of the others were surprised to see someone from the United States. I am proof against the stigma that all Americans hate the DPRK.

Comrade Alejandro Cao de Benos, head of the KFA, was unable to attend the event due to the Spanish government denying his ability to travel. However, the KFA organization is strong and the meeting ran smooth. It was interesting to see how the KFA runs on the international level, and it was also great to see other KFA members receiving awards for their dedication and hard work. The bulk of the meeting was committed to reports from the individual KFAs themselves, but also statements directly from the DPRK were read. Organizations in the DPRK sent greetings to our meeting, as did Comrade Alejandro Cao de Benos, who sent us a message from Spain.

We all agreed on and sent a letter of support to Comrade Alejandro. Additionally, upcoming events in the DPRK were discussed. Of particular note, the other comrades in the KFA kept telling me about how many American tourists they always meet in the DPRK! It is unfortunate that our government is so hostile to the DPRK. Many Americans already travel to the DPRK as regular tourists. Most of the American travelers are simply curious about seeing the real DPRK. I think that it is great that many Americans travel to the DPRK and I hope that there is more interest in the DPRK in our country in the future.

Aside from the KFA Meeting, we all also went on a few tours in Dublin itself. It was great and very interesting to me to learn the history of Ireland. I met a lot of new people at the KFA International Meeting. Everyone I met was a great person, and I can only describe our group as being like family. The KFAUSA also conducted an interview with Comrade Dermot Hudson of the KFA United Kingdom.

Interview with Dermot Hudson

I had the opportunity to interview Comrade Dermot Hudson of the KFA United Kingdom. Dermot is the President of the Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK, Chairman of the Juche Idea Study Group of England, and the Official Delegate of the KFA UK.

I regularly follow the KFA UK and the other organizations’ web pages because they are excellent and also written in English. Comrade Dermot goes to the DPRK every few months. Needless to say, I was very eager to meet him.

The first two questions I chose were about the successful satellite launches of the DPRK and about Mirae Scientists Street. The technological power of the DPRK is very interesting to me, especially space exploration. Only a handful of countries have ever had the ability to launch satellites into space. Of all the countries in the world, the DPRK is among the ranks of Russia, the United States and China in being able to send a satellite into space. Even European countries have to rely on a bigger brother in order to send objects into space. The success of the DPRK in space exploration is no small feat and I cannot wait to see more achievements in the future. Also of interest to me are Mirae Scientists Street and the Pyongyang Science and Technology Center. Mirae Scientists Street is very beautiful and modern. Comrade Dermot has been firsthand to Mirae Scientists Street and it was great to hear his experience.

Comrade Dermot and I also talked on DPRK-US relations. I asked how the recent US election will affect the DPRK. To that extent, there may or may not be better DPRK-US relations in the future. I also asked if the DPRK was a threat to the US. It seems like there are anti-DPRK stories every day in the United States, and there are anti-DPRK movies produced every few months. For example, Red Dawn was remade and the movie depicted the DPRK invading and conquering the US, while there are many other movies where the DPRK blows up Washington, DC. In all of my dealings with other Americans (I am an American and I live in the USA!), no one has ever told me that they go to bed at night afraid of the DPRK, nor do they wake up in the morning and check the skies for parachuting DPRK soldiers. Of course, watch a few Hollywood movies and you just might think otherwise. Comrade Dermot mentioned that it is the US that is the threat. The United States, our country, has over fifty thousand soldiers and over a thousand nuclear warheads stationed in South Korea. Ironically, by our government’s mentality, the DPRK has no right to defend itself. The KFA disagrees with the idea that the DPRK is not allowed to defend itself.

One interesting point that we discussed was about the police in the DPRK. I learned that the police in the DPRK are very respectful and not armed the way the police are so heavily equipped here in the United States. Comrade Dermot has never heard of the police shooting citizens in the DPRK, while in contrast it seems like almost daily there is some new debacle or tragedy concerning the police and their actions here in the US. Last, I asked a question regarding Comrade Alejandro. Unfortunately, Comrade Alejandro Cao de Benos was unable to attend the KFA International Meeting – the first time he has been unable to attend, ever. Comrade Dermot and I both expressed our support to Comrade Alejandro. It is not right that the KFA is targeted and I hope everyone reading this article hears our call.

Thank you for reading! It was a great experience and an honor to represent the KFAUSA! Until next year, friends!

Chris Bovet
General Secretary of the Korean Friendship Association USA