Nov 25, 2023
Hungary has unjustly handed over a human rights activist to Spain, where the FBI has confirmed danger of assassination by North Korean agents. We urgently ask you to take action and help protect this brave man’s life from imminent danger.
How you can help right now:
- Donate directly to support Chang Su Lim’s legal defense in Spain.
- Sign up now to receive email updates on the latest developments and how you can be involved with future efforts to support these heroes.
While visiting Hungary in November 2023, Chang Su Lim was wrongfully detained and sent to stand trial in Spain for a 2019 case based on the false testimony of North Korean embassy staff in Madrid. Chang Su Lim and his colleagues are at serious risk of assassination in Spain–a fact that has been well documented in the press, confirmed by the FBI, and acknowledged by US courts.
Spain continues to pursue prosecution knowing that North Korean “witness” testimony has been deemed inadmissible by a US federal judge, who calls North Korean statements “coerced” and “not competent”. The North Korean regime has reason to lie about what happened in Madrid. It is unconscionable that Spain would risk Chang Su Lim’s life and leave him at risk of assassination by North Korean agents waiting for a trial that should never have been justified to begin with, and may not happen.
This situation is developing, and we will do our best to keep this website up to date with the latest news. Thank you for your support.
Feb 1, 2023
It takes less than 60 seconds of your time to make a difference – for millions of oppressed people in North Korea, and for those brave enough to stand for them.
While we have seen a remarkable and unprecedented statement of support from Judge Jean Rosenbluth for United States Marine veteran Christopher Ahn, we are running out of time to end years of injustice for Christopher, as well as Adrian Hong and other Free Joseon humanitarian rescuers. We must demand that the United States Secretary of State block extradition of these men. The FBI itself has confirmed if sent abroad, they will face grave risk of assassination. A United States Federal court has already recognized the lack of credibility of the North Korean allegations. And observers have recognized the case likely wouldn’t even go to trial in Spain! These are strange circumstances where men who are clearly innocent must be sent to face assassination abroad as a procedural matter – and should be unacceptable to all humans of conscience.
Here’s how you can help right now.
Per Judge Jean Rosenbluth, Federal Magistrate, 5/2021
“Although I conclude that the law requires me to certify, I do not think it’s the right result, and I hope that a higher court will either tell me I’m wrong or itself block the extradition.
Based on what I know, I believe that extraditing Ahn to Spain would be “antipathetic” to our common “sense of decency,” the standard first set out for a humanitarian exception to extradition...
… no one could have ever imagined a case like this one, and the humanitarian exception deserves to be considered anew in its context… he should not be cast off to face an uncertain fate at the hands of a despot, perhaps sacrificed to advance a foreign-policy agenda. If I thought I could, I would require any trial of Ahn to be here in the United States, and I hope that a judge or judges tasked with fixing law instead of simply following it will do just that.
December 12, 2020
A recent article in The New Yorker (full article can also be accessed free of charge here) has done the most thorough investigation so far, and confirmed the truth we’ve known all along–that these men had been rescuing North Korean defectors, but are needlessly being persecuted by the US government and continue to be under credible threats from North Korean assassins. There is more positive attention and support for these heroes than ever before.
We need to focus all our energy to make sure that these men are freed. Please:
- Share the story with friends, family, networks, hashtags (#BringFreeJoseonHome) and social media.
- Provide financial support (https://www.supportfj.org/);
- Write letters of support to named men.
October 20, 2019
I reach out to you to ask for your support. The people of North Korea have suffered beyond measure for decades, and some outstanding individuals from the United States have taken it upon themselves to ease that suffering. American Marine veteran Christopher Ahn helped to personally rescue Kim Jong Un’s nephew Kim Han Sol and his family, and Korean American Adrian Hong has spent over a decade rescuing countless North Korean refugees. The US government is currently working to hunt and extradite these men and others to Spain, based on fabricated reports by North Korean diplomats.
These two men, Ahn and Hong, are members of the Provisional Government of Free Joseon, the first organized resistance to the Kim regime in history. You can read Free Joseon’s March 1st Declaration here.
They have been brave and admirably risking their lives to help North Koreans wishing to escape their brutal regime.
We in the free world have been blessed in many ways – we ask that you raise your voices and influence to help those in North Korea that history has left behind.
Thank you for your support!
– Friends of Free Joseon
July 26, 2019
The past 2 weeks has most importantly been about Christopher Ahn being left in peace to be with his family and friends. Yet now more than ever, we must rally behind him and fellow Free Joseon members Adrian Hong, Sam Ryu, Charles Ryu, and other humanitarian workers not yet publicized, by telling the United States to cease executing a foreign warrant based on false premises against them. These heroes are not able to work, support or protect their families, or continue their work rescuing refugees.
As you may know, the humanitarian activist and United States Marine Corps veteran, Christopher Ahn, was released on bail on Tuesday, July 16th. Thank you all for your letters of support, tweets and calls to your members of Congress and administration officials, and your financial support. They have all been instrumental in helping us make enormous progress.
The United States’ judicial system, which itself never pressed charges, has already determined that “Nothing corroborates the most serious allegations” against Free Joseon and there are “no photographs of any injuries, no medical records, and no non-North Korean witnesses’ statements attesting to any observable or other injuries.” Most importantly, the federal judge found that “…a special circumstance arises from the fact that much of the evidence supporting the arrest warrant…comes from diplomatic officials of the North Korean government, a country with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations in part because its justice system, including pretrial investigations, is not trustworthy and does not comply with due process.” Finally, the court ruling declared that there is an FBI-confirmed threat to the lives of Free Joseon members from the North Korean regime that would be magnified if any of them are extradited to Spain.
We should all welcome this development.
Read more here:
Nonetheless, a reminder of the fight to come remains: Christopher Ahn wears an ankle bracelet and is constantly monitored under house arrest, allowed only to attend church and medical appointments. This brief respite is not true freedom for those who only sought to aid North Koreans achieve their own liberation. Christopher Ahn may be home for now, but Adrian Hong and Sam Ryu remain underground, facing assassination attempts by North Korean hit squads.
Despite the fabricated case against Free Joseon already unraveling in court, political convenience continues to endanger them for crimes not committed. Rule of law cannot be maintained if these innocent men are already being unjustly punished with potential threats of harm.
“Chris will no longer have to fight for his freedom from a jail cell, but the battle in the courtroom is just beginning,” —Naeun Rim, Christopher Ahn’s attorney
Please help continue that fight by:
- Continuing to write to, call, and tweet at your representatives.
- Donating to Christopher Ahn’s GoFundMe
- Donating to Support Free Joseon
- Additional action items can be found here.
What Really Happened in Madrid?
June 9, 2019
North Korea not only threatens the US and the rest of the globe by developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, they also sell weapons of mass destruction to terrorists around the world. Meanwhile, North Korea also enslaves 25 million of their own citizens and subjects them to physical and psychological torture through starvation, concentration camps, and staggeringly oppressive propaganda. North Korea has no regard for human rights and violates international laws with impunity.
Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong are freedom fighters who were assisting North Korean officials at an embassy in Madrid to escape their murderous regime. The defecting North Koreans did not escape after Spanish police surrounded the Embassy, but Ahn and Hong returned to the United States and provided sensitive North Korean data to the FBI. Since then, both North Korea and Spain have unlawfully demanded extradition of both men, and US Marshals have detained Ahn and are searching for Hong. Arresting these men and sending them to Spain puts them at enormous risk of being assassinated by the North Korean regime because these men, as part of The Provisional Government of Free Joseon, represent the first legitimate threat to Pyongyang in decades.
How you can help
Who are Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong?
Christopher Ahn is a former United States marine who honorably completed his service and continued to volunteer to help protect and rescue North Korean refugees.
More information about Christopher Ahn.
Adrian Hong is a well known human rights activist who has spent his life advocating for refugees and rescuing North Korean defectors.
More information about Adrian Hong.
Why are they being hunted by the governments of the United States, North Korea, and Spain?
In early 2019, Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their colleagues – as part of The Provisional Government of Free Joseon (formerly called Cheollima Civil Defense) – traveled to Madrid, Spain, to rescue North Korean diplomats who had requested their help to defect.
These North Korean officials had likely known that reaching out to The Provisional Government of Free Joseon was their best chance to defect, and evade detection by North Korean diplomats and agents loyal to their murderous leadership and who would try and prevent their escape.
Defecting from North Korea is always dangerous and risky. After the North Korean Ambassador to Italy defected in November of 2018 along with his wife, North Korean agents kidnapped their 17 year old daughter in Rome and returned her to Pyongyang. It has been extensively documented that women prisoners are frequently victims of sexual abuse, torture and even execution. Her fate is unknown.
According to Spanish media reports, Adrian Hong, Christopher Ahn and others were welcomed into the embassy in broad daylight by a defecting North Korean diplomat. More footage obtained by Fox News reportedly shows the men interviewing diplomats who wished to defect to freedom. At this time, Spanish court documents indicate that a North Korean woman, who presumably sought to prevent her colleagues from defecting, jumped from a window and alerted local Spanish police to what she fabricated as an ‘assault’ and ‘raid.’
Across Europe and the rest of the world, North Korean officials loyal to their regime have been known to lie, deceive, and spread falsehoods to cover up their murders, human trafficking, illegal smuggling operations, and arms and missile sales to enemies of the United States. In spite of this deplorable track record, Spanish authorities took this North Korean official’s word at face value, and without question, immediately surrounded the embassy.
The North Korean diplomats who originally intended to defect witnessed a heavily armed Spanish police force positioning outside the embassy, and understandably abandoned their plans to defect out of fear of being repatriated back to North Korea to face certain torture and execution.
North Korean diplomats who oppose the leader, Kim Jong Un, are summarily recalled and executed. The former North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, whose uncle opposed Kim Jong Un, was repatriated and executed alongside his two sons. His wife and remaining family members were also punished for simply being associated with him and were banished to remote villages.
According to Spanish court documents and media reports, Ahn, Hong and others engaged in nearly 5 hours of conversation and interviews with the North Korean diplomats who had wished to defect. Given the likelihood that they were to be arrested by Spanish police for this rescue attempt, media reports then described how the rescue team escaped the embassy and immediately returned to the United States carrying critical intelligence, which would have certainly been provided by the defecting North Korean diplomats if all had gone well.
Adrian Hong then reportedly arranged a meeting with the FBI in New York where he volunteered the intelligence, including what is likely an encryption cipher used by the current North Korean regime to plan assassinations and arms sales abroad that threaten the United States homeland. Adrian Hong’s actions contributed to an enormous intelligence victory, benefiting the national security of the United States.
Rather than demonstrating gratitude, the involved United States Government officials, who as per media reports have become increasingly desperate to appease the current North Korean totalitarian regime, allegedly took the critical intelligence and then leaked information on the identities of Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their fellow rescuers after it was requested by the Spanish government. Spanish court documents show that Madrid then issued extradition warrants based solely on the information provided by the United States and the false testimonies of North Korean diplomats, who are forced to lie about what happened in the embassy in order to avoid being recalled to North Korea and executed with their families.
Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and the rest of the rescue team risked their lives to deliver the North Korean defectors to safety, and are now high priority targets of a regime that has committed countless acts of brazen assassination.
Christopher Ahn currently sits in a California jail cell. Adrian Hong is being hunted by United States Marshals on the behest of the North Korean regime and Spain. Humanitarian members of The Provisional Government of Free Joseon are in similar danger. Their so-called ‘crime’ was helping North Korean officials and their families in Spain defect to freedom.
Help us free these good men from injustice! End the political games that threaten the lives of these men! Allow them to help the North Korean people win their freedom!
Five inconsistencies in claims made by Spain and North Korea
- There was no “raid” or “assault” in Madrid. The Provisional Government of Free Joseon has no reason or incentive to attack diplomats or embassies. How would an invasion of an embassy benefit North Korean human rights or The Provisional Government of Free Joseon, a government-in-exile?
- Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their colleagues have a long and celebrated history of defending human rights, and have never resorted to violence to achieve these aims. Conversely, North Korea has a track record of kidnapping and murdering United States citizens, threatening the United States with nuclear weapons, imprisoning hundreds of thousands of its citizens in concentration camps, and withholding international food aid, starving millions of its people to death.
- Why would Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their colleagues, who supposedly committed a crime, linger at the scene of the alleged crime for 5 hours while being filmed laughing with a North Korean diplomat? And why would they then voluntarily set a meeting with the FBI in New York, to hand over intelligence, and freely share information about the incident with the FBI, if they had recently “illegally stormed an embassy?”
- The Government of Spain has a recent history of using arrests and extradition warrants to kill independence movements. In 2017, police from across Spain were sent to Catalonia, a region of Spain, to suppress a peaceful independence movement of women, men, and children. The Catalan leaders, who were journalists, teachers, and pharmacists, were forced to flee to Belgium. Extradition warrants were issued by the Government of Spain for their arrest, an action that has been condemned as illegal by the United Nations. The Government of Spain is using the incident at the North Korean embassy for domestic political purposes.
- The Government of Spain is ruled by a party with strong anti-American roots, and that is sympathetic to the current totalitarian North Korean regime. The friendship between these governments allows the current North Korean regime to operate ‘The International Korean Business Center’ on Spanish territory. That organization earns funds for North Korea that are likely used to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction that threaten United States national security and global stability.
What is The Provisional Government of Free Joseon?
Together, Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong had been rescuing North Korean refugees fleeing from their oppressive government. Ahn and Hong work with The Provisional Government of Free Joseon, a government-in-exile dedicated to bringing freedom to the oppressed North Korean people.
- The Provisional Government of Free Joseon stands against the current murderous North Korean regime. It opposes Kim Jong Un, the leader of the current North Korean regime who has kidnapped, tortured, and killed American citizens, including Otto Warmbier.
- The Provisional Government of Free Joseon, according to their statements, stands against the current North Korean regime’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) program and the North Korean leader’s threats to destroy the American homeland.
- The Provisional Government of Free Joseon would thus stand against, and seek to halt, North Korea’s sale of weapons to America’s enemies, including Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
The Provisional Government of Free Joseon rose up to protect the innocent people of North Korea and protect the world from this dangerous regime. It is comprised of dissidents and officials inside North Korea, escaped North Korean refugees, South Korean citizens who will no longer tolerate the torture and execution of their brothers and sisters to the north, and the Korean diaspora in the United States and worldwide who use their blessed liberty and talents to help those less fortunate. Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong are two of these men. They stand for the principles of freedom and justice.
A history of service
There is no better example of Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong’s humanitarianism than their rescue of Kim Han Sol and his family.
Han Sol is the nephew of the current North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. Han Sol and his family were forced into exile and lived in Macau (China) where they posed no threat to Kim Jong Un. Yet in early 2017, Kim Jong Un ordered their assassinations. Han Sol’s father was publicly murdered with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur international airport in front of thousands of travelers.
In a matter of hours, and with no hesitation for his own safety, Christopher Ahn reached Han Sol, his young sister, and mother, and became their protector. Adrian Hong then moved the endangered family swiftly out of Chinese territory and to freedom. Without the protection and support of Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong, Han Sol and his family would have been killed by North Korean agents.
The representations of these humanitarian and human rights activists in the media and by Spain is dramatically inconsistent with their well established track record and at odds with statements from The Provisional Government of Free Joseon itself.
Where are they now?
On April 18, 2019, United States Marshals, seemingly acting on the request of the Spanish government and based on the unreliable testimonies of North Korean officials loyal to their regime, arrested Christopher Ahn and launched a nationwide manhunt for Adrian Hong. In doing so, they disseminated their photos and personal information around the world, effectively placing targets for North Korean assassins on the backs of both men and their families for the rest of their lives.
This is shocking. The United States Department of Justice, acquiescing to the murderous North Korean regime, is incarcerating a United States citizen, and hunting a celebrated human rights activist, for attempting to rescue North Korean diplomats who could provide the United States intelligence community with sensitive information to protect our homeland.
The President of the United States and the Secretary of State have the discretion to deny extradition for these men.
Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong, who are both California residents, have never committed any crimes, in the United States or abroad. Their actions in Madrid were political and humanitarian, precisely because they risked their lives to facilitate a high level defection. They would clearly fall under the political exemption in extradition treaties.
They should not be extradited to Spain. The Spanish government has an established history of disregarding and breaking international law to destroy independence movements. The Spanish government has recently been condemned by the United Nations for illegally jailing and seeking the extradition of other political activists.
Threats to the lives of Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong
Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their colleagues are at critical risk of assassination by the North Korean regime if extradited to Spain. In February 2017, President Trump designated North Korea as a ‘Terrorist State’ following the regime’s assassination of Kim Han Sol’s father. The assassination was just one of a number of political murders directed by the North Korean regime on foreign soil.
These North Korean “diplomats” (above) based in Malaysia were all involved in the assassination of Kim Han Sol’s father. These North Korean assassins were all allowed to leave Malaysia. The international community has not pursued them to ensure justice is delivered. This is in stark contrast to the US and Spanish pursuit of Christopher Ahn & Adrian Hong. This is immoral and cowardly.
- In April 2012, a North Korean agent was sentenced to four years imprisonment for plotting to assassinate a human rights activist with a poison-tipped needle. Like Ahn and Hong, the activist had merely spoken out against the North Korean regime.
- In August 2011, a Christian pastor was killed by a North Korean agent using a poisoned needle. Like Ahn and Hong, the pastor had been helping North Koreans escape the horrors of their homeland.
- In July 2010, two North Korean agents pleaded guilty to attempting to assassinate a high-level North Korean defector, like the North Korean officials that Ahn and Hong were helping defect in Spain.
Here’s how we can protect these men and stop their extradition
Please find a moment of your time to help these brave men. You will find simple instructions and pre-written letters of support that you can use to email or call your representative on this page.
Media outlets, ranging from Fox to CNN, have all expressed bewilderment, horror, and outrage at the extradition request of the Spanish Government and the complicity of persons in the United States Government.
Other human rights organizations and activists who rescue North Korean refugees have privately and publicly questioned whether their own humanitarian acts will also land them in jail. North Korean refugees now living in freedom, many thanks to the good work of Ahn, Hong, and their colleagues, have looked on in disbelief as the United States and Spain have seemingly worked on behalf of current North Korean regime.
We have every reason to be hopeful because these selfless and courageous individuals. We shall see Free Joseon(North Korea) in our life time! 자유 조선을 위한 선언문 – DECLARATION FOR A FREE JOSEON https://t.co/viZwIgqgVF via @YouTube— Yeonmi Park (박연미) (@YeonmiParkNK) March 28, 2019
Why do they help North Koreans escape to freedom?
The short answer is: Because no one else does.
No government helps desperate North Korean refugees or officials escape and defect to freedom, unless in very rare instances. Without Christopher Ahn, Adrian Hong, and their colleagues, North Korean refugees who flee their homeland or defect from North Korean embassies would be captured, repatriated, and executed.
North Korea’s brutality and horrors are only comparable to those of Nazi Germany. The United Nations has called the atrocities in North Korea “unparalleled”. The current North Korean regime starved 3 million innocent people to death while its elite lived a life of luxury.
The current North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, runs a concentration camp system that is so large it can be seen on Google Earth and is akin to the death camps of Nazi Germany. Hundreds of thousands of innocents are incarcerated for the ‘crimes’ of watching American movies, growing their own food, or even practicing Christianity. And Kim Jong Un’s officials use rape, forced abortions, torture, and execution to exterminate women, children, and men who try to escape to freedom.