Korean Friendship Association

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Korean Friendship Association
Korean Friendship Association.png
Korean Friendship Association logo
Abbreviation KFA
Formation August 8, 2000
Purpose official government cultural liaison agency for North Korea
Location
  • Spain
Region served
World
Official language
English
President
Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez
Website http://www.korea-dpr.com/kfa.html
Remarks hymn Song of National Defense[1]

The Korean Friendship Association (Spanish: Asociación Coreana de Amistad), headed by Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez, is a Spain based commercial organisation working in the tourism sector for North Korea. The KFA was established in Spain on August 8, 2000. It has official representatives in 28 countries, including Spain, the U.S., Norway, Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Israel, Poland and Japan.

Its president is the only person paid a salary and fees collected by the KFA are generally deposited in accounts in his name around Europe .[2]

Main objectives[edit]

The main objectives of the KFA are:[3]

  • Show the reality of the DPR Korea to the world.
  • Defend the independence and socialist construction in the DPR of Korea.
  • Learn from the culture and history of the Korean People - Work for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula.

The official line[edit]

The KFA pages provides DPRK related material, including tourism tips and political essays, and it is possible to hear views from a DPRK point of view. The KFA Forum site is hosted and administered in Europe and gives links to Korean language teaching sites.

The KFA denies violations of human rights in North Korea and disputes the existence of North Korean concentration camps.[4]

The objectives of the KFA are to promote the well-being of all members and to promote friendship between members of the KFA worldwide.

Structure[edit]

The Korean Friendship Association has members spread across many countries with an "Official Delegate" (OD) responsible for the activities in his/her country and secretaries appointed by the delegates. Above the Official Delegates, the "International Organization Committee" consisting of the President, the International Counselor and an International Organization Secretary who control and direct the activities of the KFA worldwide.

KFA president: Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez

International organization secretary: Mana Sapmak

International communication secretary: Carlos Luna

International commissar: Trever Aritz [5][citation needed]

KFA criticism[edit]

David Scofield in the Asia Times Online in 2005 described the KFA as follows:

The group's activities include "information" seminars where the enlightened benevolence of Kim's rule is championed, all part of its "alternative" view of the North. The ragged wretched displays of poverty and starvation are edited out and the voice of North Koreans not in the direct employ of Kim Jong-il are conspicuously absent. In place of uncomfortable reality, the KFA offers vacation photos of "their" North Korea taken during recent, state supported visits, complete with bowling, golf, amusement parks and Karaoke with young female party members. Members write glowing pieces, oblations celebrating Kim Jong-il's wise rule. No starving people, torture, summary execution, penury or despair in the Korean Friendship Association's North Korea. Just golf, great meals and evenings in the company of Kim Jong-il's beauties.[6]

A 2015 investigation by the North Korean News found the commercial practices and integrity of the KFA to be in question.

Capitalist credentials: N. Korea sympathizer group’s huge profit on access to country

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official KFA Hymn Song of National Defence". KFA Official Twitter Account. April 22, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Capitalist credentials: N. Korea sympathizer group’s huge profit on access to country | NK News - North Korea News". NK News - North Korea News. Retrieved 2016-01-13. 
  3. ^ http://www.korea-dpr.com/kfa.html
  4. ^ Enzo Reale (February 7, 2010). "Alejandro Cao de Benós Interview Part 2". One Free Korea. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ Official homepage
  6. ^ David Scofield (February 3, 2005). "Kim Jong-il's 'useful idiots' in the West". Retrieved December 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Interviews with the KFA[edit]

Articles on the KFA[edit]