Global Leadership

Freedom in North Korea

Advancing policies that integrate human rights with national security and providing scholarships to North Korean refugees now settled in the United States.

1 in 2

Children in North Korea who are chronically malnourished or stunted

1

Number of channels available on legal televisions, which are tuned to state-controlled domestic programming

North Korea is one of the worst places on Earth. The government's nuclear ambitions are the subject of daily headlines. Its citizens are subjected to widespread human rights violations.

Over the past decade, a policy of "strategic patience" left the United States waiting for the cumulative effect of sanctions to pressure the North Korean regime to denuclearize. At a time when the United States has begun high level negotiations on North Korea's security threats, we must not let human rights fall by the wayside.

The Bush Institute conducts original research, provides expert testimony on Capitol Hill, briefs legislative staff, and engages with Korean-American leaders nationwide.

North Korea Freedom Scholarship

Established in 2017, the North Korea Freedom Scholarship is designed to help North Korean escapees and their children pursue higher education and build productive, prosperous lives as new Americans. The scholarships are granted to students for vocational school, community college, university, and graduate-level studies. To date, a total of $118,500 has been awarded in 43 scholarships.

Administered by Communities Foundation of Texas, these scholarships will support escapees in pursuing a range of educational opportunities, helping them to succeed and to build new lives in freedom.

Applications are open to North Korean refugees with:

  • Legal status as refugees, lawful permanent residents of the United States or U.S. citizenship.
  • Birth in North Korea or be immediate family members of someone who was born in North Korea prior to legal immigration to the United States.

Apply for the scholarship

Related Content

Human Freedom

Extending freedom and democracy around the world

Lindsay Lloyd
Lindsay Lloyd The Bradford M. Freeman Director of the Human Freedom Initiative George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
William McKenzie
William McKenzie Senior Editorial Advisor George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Jieun Pyun
Jieun Pyun Senior Program Manager, Human Freedom George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Christopher Walsh
Christopher Walsh Senior Program Manager, Human Freedom and Women's Initiative George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Michael Bailey
Michael Bailey Program Manager, Leadership Programs George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca The Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Victor Cha
Victor Cha Senior Fellow, Human Freedom George W. Bush Institute Full Bio