On March 7, 2022, our dear comrade Hyun Lee passed away after a long battle with cancer. She joined Nodutdol in 2006 and was an active member until 2017. She had a gift for galvanizing people into action, making her invaluable not only to Nodutdol but also to CAAAV, where she worked before Nodutdol, and afterwards at WomenCross DMZ.
Hyun gifted us with her insight, wisdom, humor, and ability to listen deeply. She held herself to high standards and led by example. She has left a lasting impact on Nodutdol–not only through the skills she shared and wisdom she imparted, but also in her efforts to synthesize her experience and understanding into a concrete analysis for material change. Even in palliative care, Hyun gave Nodutdol advice on what geopolitical challenges we would be facing and how we should handle them. Hyun had an unparalleled capacity for debate. She was always intentional about building connections with people and though she stepped back from active membership with Nodutdol in 2017, she continued to build with newer members.
In addition to being a dedicated organizer and a committed advocate for peace on the Korean peninsula, she was a trained acupuncturist and healer. She organized surfing expeditions and loved skydiving. She was always generous with her time and willing to travel, whether to visit a comrade in need who lived several states away or to watch the north Korean women’s soccer team play a game in Tkaronto (Toronto). She was also an excellent storyteller and loved to share–even her simplest stories often came with a hook, build up, and an exciting conclusion. Over the years we shared many meals, and we were lucky to know her contagious laughter and welcoming spirit.
She cared for so many of us: Always checking in to see that we were healthy and well, sharing her healing practice with her loved ones, and sending herbal medicines to community members both near and far. We send our love to her other friends and family who cared for her in these last few months and we share in the collective grief of our community at the loss of our extraordinary organizer, comrade, and friend.
In accordance with Hyun’s last requests, please send any contributions in her memory to the Tongil Peace Foundation. May we all carry on her dedication to and vision for peace on the Korean peninsula.
Learn more about Hyun’s impact
You can see the full slideshow of Hyun’s life that was put together for her celebration of life event here.