2017-07-26 / Political Page

Kim Welcomes North Korean Refugees To Albany


Assemblyman Ron Kim posed with the North Korean refugee children at the NYS Assembly Chamber. Assemblyman Ron Kim posed with the North Korean refugee children at the NYS Assembly Chamber. Assemblyman Ron Kim met with a group of 24 North Korean refugees – mostly children and young adults – to visit Albany and tour the New York State Capitol on July 19. They joined the Assemblyman and a staff member for a tour through several state governmental institutions, including the Assembly Chamber, and a presentation on its history. Kim expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to welcome such a unique set of guests to his workplace, and his hope that the visit would give them a greater understanding and appreciation for the institutional foundations of democracy.

The group is currently visiting the United States for a three-week period through a program organized by Durihana, a Christian ministry based in South Korea. Durihana’s mission is to help North Korean refugees and their children who have arrived in South Korea resettle and assimilate into their new home. They were accompanied by 20 church members from Little Flock Church, a partner group assisting with the refugees’ visit to America. For this occasion, their Capitol tour was conducted through the NYS Office of General Services Capitol Tour program.

Assemblyman Ron Kim said, “Today’s visit was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many of us gathered here today. These courageous children and families were born into a different kind of world, one where many of the most basic tenets that we as Americans hold dear, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and our right to vote, do not exist. I am thankful for the opportunity to invite them to our State Capitol, and would like to express my gratitude to Durihana, Reverand Soo Tae Kim, and the Office of General Services Capitol Tour program for their efforts to arrange this tour.”

Reverend Soo Tae Kim of Little Flock Church said, “This was truly a wonderful opportunity for these brave children and young adults, many of whom risked their lives to escape North Korea. Our church worked with Durihana to organize their visit to New York, and I thank Assemblymember Ron Kim for taking the time to bring them to Albany. The visit was an edifying and eye-opening experience for all of us, and comes at a particularly crucial and precarious time in the world. I hope that they will cherish their memories of this trip for many years to come.”

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