by Andy Marra

Despite the rainy weather, Nodutdol members and supporters came together on Saturday, June 20th to raise funds for the 2009 delegation traveling to the DPRK in July. Ten dollars was the suggested donation to gain entry to a Chinese-Indian buffet while a fully stocked cash bar provided additional funds to support the upcoming trip. The fundraiser was organized by DEEP participants that spent six months in preparation for their trip to the DPRK.

DEEP is a Nodutdol educational program that provides participants with comprehensive seminars related to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Through critical analysis of policy, media and law, DEEP aims to debunk the sensationalism and fallacies found in U.S. policies and media coverage. Some of the seminar topics include Korean history, Inter-Korean relations, the Korean Reunification movement and current events and political developments impacting Korean peace and security.

The fundraiser enables DEEP participants to purchase crucial medical supplies for either children or maternity hospitals based in the DPRK. This year’s trip comes at an especially critical time as North Korea has suffered from a myriad of economic setbacks with international sanctions significantly cutting their access to humanitarian assistance. This year, medicine and other medical supplies will support the Third People’s Hospital and Maternity Hospitals.

The event included an engaging and thought-provoking slate of entertainment also planned by the DEEP delegation. DEEP participant Sukjong Hong served as emcees for the evening’s line-up. Nodutdol member and author Grace M. Cho read excerpts from her latest book, Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War. Various Nodutdol members read poetry and other writings from North and South Korea.

Nodutdol Co-Director shared her story about DEEP’s personal impact and the need to continue supporting the program. Nodutdol intern Hyein Lee shared information with the audience about the Peace Treaty Campaign and its upcoming events planned by the summer interns. Attendees were given an opportunity to network with one another before the event wrapped up with the DEEP participants singing Korean songs about Korean Reunification. Guests stayed well past 9:30pm to continue supporting Nodutdol’s cash bar and an impromptu Noraebang session.

The night and related fundraising to DEEP’s trip has currently raised more than $3500. DEEP is continuing to fundraise up until their July 9th departure. Please consider donating to this innovative program by making an online contribution here. Please make sure to write “DEEP 2009 Donation” in the comments box before submitting your donation.