Twenty writers claim they are ready to use their “pens, which are mightier than swords, to lead the spread of democracy in North Korea,” reports the Chosun Ilbo, a widely circulated South Korean daily newspaper. These writers, once considered among the elite in North Korea before they defected and continued their careers in South Korea, will now be able to have a place they can gather. Pen International, a widely admired London-based organization that promotes literature and freedom of expression, expects to open a center representing North Koreans.
This September, Pen International will hold its 78th “International Pen Congress” in South Korea, where the center proposal will officially be approved according to both Pen President John Ralston and Lee Gil-won, the head of the planned South Korean center. The awaiting North Korean writers include Rim Il, the author of “Novel Kim Jong-il,” Jung Sung-san, the producer of the musical “Yodok Stories,” which puts on display the horrors of North Korean prison camps; Lee Ae-ran, the first North Korean woman to earn a PhD in the South, and former Chosun Ilbo reporter Kang Chol-hwan.
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