The human rights situation in North Korea has gained considerable attention lately, due in part to an official report released by the United Nations last year. The landmark report condemned North Korea for systematic and widespread human rights violations.
The attack on Mark Lippert, the American ambassador to South Korea, made headlines worldwide on Thursday. Since his arrival in Seoul last October, Lippert received high marks from the Korean people and the media for his accessibility to the public there. Lippert, a Stanford graduate, is a very close friend of President Obama, who has called him “brother,” and attended his ambassadorial swearing-in ceremony.
Last spring two North Korean defectors visited Stanford University from Seoul to share their experiences in the North. Hosted by Stanford's Korean Student Association, the event was held to increase awareness of North Korean human rights issues in the Stanford intellectual community. In fact, the Association hosts "North Korean Human Rights Night" every year.