Meet Seongji, our HR and office administrator in South Korea! We asked Seongji a few questions to help you get to know her.
Why did you want to work at LiNK?
LiNK was different from other North Korea-related organizations in every way. Even from just the visuals, you can tell it’s unique. Everything that comes from LiNK is given careful thought. I also like LiNK’s approach and attitude toward North Korea. There was no hidden agenda or strings attached to the work LiNK does. LiNK strives really hard to make sure we’re serving the North Korean people and actually doing something meaningful while realizing our vision.
Did you intern before taking a full-time position?
Yes, I was an admin and translation intern.
What is your favorite thing about working at LiNK?
I love how uplifting and encouraging people are. Without their support, I would never be able to do what I do. We might have our differences, but that’s what families are like, right?
What are your day-to-day duties?
On the administration end, money, papers, phone calls, emails, receipts, record keeping, organizing, processing different requests and bills.
On the HR end, overseeing the internship program, and providing support to staff and interns.
I’m also basically all of these, too: IT support/accountant/custodian.
Why did you decide to work on North Korea?
My passion for the North Korean people has been there throughout my life. My mom’s parents were originally from North Korea a little before the Korean War. She used to tell me about her childhood in North Korea: the people, the nature, and the roaring days of Pyongyang. It baffled and saddened me to think that things are quite different now over there.
Later, in my freshman year of college, I met North Korean refugees for the first time, and was completely moved by their stories. I heard about refugee kids being forcibly repatriated and was outraged by the injustice of it. It was frustrating that hardly anyone seemed to give priority to the people’s lives but focused on the politics and nuclear weapons. It became clear that I had to get fully involved in the issue.
What has been your favorite experience since working with LiNK?
Thanksgiving dinner last year. It was the pinnacle of my time with LiNK. We purchased a Thanksgiving dinner package and celebrated the great American tradition together. We ate, drank, and laughed. The highlight of the night was when we took turns to share what we were thankful for. It was a simple exercise that culminated in everyone tearing up.
What are you hoping to accomplish in the coming year?
I hope to help really grow the capacity of the Seoul office by having structures and processes in place to better support our staff. Also, through our internship program, I want to help LiNK grow its presence in South Korea, bring together support for our North Korean friends, and introduce a new narrative to South Koreans.
What was your biggest accomplishment last year?
Other than landing a job with LiNK, I have two:
What are your favorite hobbies?
Spinning, Sherlock Holmes, and shopping for home decor.