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“Busan University Students KRHANA” worshipping the statue in front of the Consulate-General of Japan in Busan

Source: 釜山日本総領事館前に少女像を設置した団体の正体 日本でも活動する団体「キョレハナ」の裏の顔:

Several citizen groups worked to promote the erection of another “comfort woman” statue, and in the center of them is the citizen group called “KRHANA“. KRHANA is also responsible for the fund-raising activities to erect the statue in front of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, violating the Vienna Convention, Article 22, paragraph 2.

KRHANA is an organization that surrounded the statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and organized sit-in demonstrations. This time, however, Busan University college student organization “Busan University Students KRHANA” was also present. They were “expeditions” to Seoul; they started raising funds to create another statue in Busan.

KRHANA is a combination of the words “ethnic group, companion” and “one”, meaning “we are one ethnic group, one brotherhood”. As the name of the organization suggests, the keyword “North Korea” cannot be overlooked when talking about this group. KRHANA, in other words, means “unity”.

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Sit-in protest in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul led by KRHANA
KRHANA’s “main business” is “supporting North Korea” — business for the Northern residents, or for the government?

KRHANA has set up branches in eight locations nationwide including Seoul, Incheon, and Busan, and there are 11 business headquarters in the central organization. The “businesses” of these headquarters expose the character of this organization. There is no activity related to comfort women among 11 business headquarters, but instead, they focus on supporting North Korea. The following table shows the names of 11 business headquarters and their activities.

南北教育協力推進委員会:北朝鮮教育施設現代化事業
North-South Educational Cooperation Promotion Committee: North Korea Educational Facilities Modernization Project
北朝鮮子ども栄養パン工場事業本部:パン生産設備および原料支援
North Korea Children’s Nutrition Bakery Factory Business Division: Bread production equipment and raw material support
北朝鮮子ども豆乳事業本部:平壌近郊100箇所幼稚園に豆乳支援
North Korea Children’s Soy Milk Business Headquarters: 100 locations near Pyongyang Support for soy milk in kindergartens
北朝鮮麺工場事業本部:平壌モランボン麺工場建立、原料供給
North Korea Noodle Factory Business Headquarters: Pyongyang Morumbon Noodle Factory Established, raw material supply
ウリギョレ緑林:平壌市養苗場建設推進、設備支援
Urgyeore Green Forest: Promoting construction of Pyongyang nursery seine nurseries, equipment support
北朝鮮抗生剤工場事業本部:金日成総合大学内抗生剤工場支援
North Korea Antibiotic Factory Business Headquarters: Kim Il Sung University‘s support for antibiotic agent factory
キョレハナ大学生本部:南北青年学生交流事業支援
KRHANA University Student Exchange Division: North-South Youth Student Exchange Support Project
統一豚農場事業本部 :平壌市に豚農場建立、農場物資支援
Unified pig farm business headquarters: Pork farm foundation in Pyongyang City, farm goods support
平壌歯科病院事業本部 :平壌第1人民病院口腔病棟再建築支援
Pyongyang Dental Hospital Business Headquarters: Pyongyang First People’s Hospital oral cavity ward reconstruction support
農食品現代化事業本部 :平壌にカムジャラーメン工場建立推進
Agricultural food modernization business headquarters: Promote construction of Camja Ramen factory in Pyongyang
教育文化センター HUE :労働者統一教科書制作、平和統一教育への道
Education and Culture Center HUE: Worker uniform textbook production, road to peaceful unified education
The KRHANA preparatory committee was started in 2003 and the actual organization was established in 2004. They visited North Korea many times every year in the name of “supporting” North Korea and has provided financial support to them. In 2008, they visited North Korea together with the so-called Korean Council for Women Motivated by Military Sexual Slavery Imposed by Japan (한국정신대문제대책협의회) to interact with North Korean organizations. According to their website, the supplies provided to North Korea by KRHANA amount to 25.9 billion won in total, and that’s only during the 9 years from 2003 to 2011. Of course, I am not going to condemn humanitarian activities to help the North Koreans. But it is worrisome that for an organization that conduct many businesses to support the North in the name of helping Northern civilians, they seem to be disinterested or even in support of the Northern government when it comes to human rights issues of North Korean defectors and North Korean residents as well as the nuclear development issue.

For example, on September 9, 2016, when North Korea conducted the fifth nuclear test, KRHANA did not criticize the North Korean government. In fact, on their website, they issued a statement condemning the South Korean government for their intention of taking resolute measures against the North.

Furthermore, regarding the human rights issue of North Korea, KRHANA goes on to condemn the US for criticizing North Korea, saying, “You cannot judge only with the human rights standards of the United States”, “It is the isolation strategy by the United States that threatens the human rights of North Korea”.

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Again, KRHANA members from Busan University

KRHANA also works with Japanese leftist civic groups
Visiting major cities’ regime opposition rallies

Their activities are not limited to North Korea. They are working in collaboration with Japanese leftist organizations and zainichi Koreans. In Japan, KRHANA has been translated and introduced as “同胞一つ (Douhou Hitotsu)” and has interacted with several groups in Japan.

For example, in October 2016, members of KRHANA’s university organization “University Students KRHANA” participated in a Osaka rally opposing the Abe administration, and another rally at Henoko. ZENKO (平和と民主主義をめざす全国交歓会) is among the Japanese organizations that interacted with them at this time. Their activities are also introduced in detail on the homepages of Japanese leftist organizations and Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS; 民主主義的社会主義運動).

Even the South Korean media has not covered this citizen group that has led the erection of this statue. So the general public only recognize them as “some organization that helps the ‘comfort women'”, not realizing their purpose and main activities are aimed at supporting North Korea. The same could be said for the Japanese media. It would be sensible for the both nations to inform their citizens of the fact that the erection of those statues are their part-time work, and their real aim is to support the North.

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The couple sculptors who are said to be affiliated with North Korea and have profited $30,000 / piece
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