Kim, Hyun Hwan

My name is Kim Hyun Hwan and I am currently 67 years old. I was born on September 16, 1946 in Hwangho Dong, North Korea. When I was 5 years old, I was separated from my relatives due to the Korean War. Many North Korean residents came down to South Korea at that time because of the threat of nuclear bombs. My father left for South Korea first, and then my mother, elder sister, younger brother, and I joined him 3-4 months later. 

 

Thankfully, I was given the chance to revisit my home country every 4 years to meet my family. I was able to see two of my aunts before they passed away. As far as I know, one of my uncles is still alive. A few years ago, I was allowed to visit my family members in North Korea; however, now, there is less freedom, and I am unable to reach them as easily. For a 7 day trip, it cost me around $2,500 for hotel, transportation, and food. Of those 7 days, I was only able to spend time with them for 2-3 days. Because of the cost, not many divided family members are able to reunite with their lost family members as I did.

In 1986, my family and I contributed to the "One Korea Movement" to help reunite separated families of the Korean War. It was a difficult task but in the end we were able to help multiple families. 

 

I came to America in 1975 with my one-year old son to study theology. Over time, I became a minister and currently, I am the president of the Korean American National Coordinating Council (KANCC).

 

I believe in peace. I ultimately believe that North Korea has good people. I also believe that a peaceful reunification is necessary for separated family members to become one again.