Free Joseon (Korean: 자유조선; formerly known as Cheollima Civil Defense, formally styled as The Provisional Government of Free Joseon) is a political group established on March 4, 2017. It has been noted for protecting Kim Han-sol, the son of Kim Jong-nam, since the assassination of his father. It is also known to support North Korean defectors who want to leave North Korea. On March 1, 2019, "Cheollima Civil Defense" was renamed to "Free Joseon", which is also its proposed name for North Korea if it overthrows its current government.
Logo of Free Joseon
|Formation||March 4, 2017|
|Cheollima Civil Defense|
On March 1, 2019, Free Joseon issued the "Declaration for a Free Joseon". Within this declaration, Free Joseon enumerated nine accusations against the Kim regime in North Korea. These ranged from accusations of torture and terrorism to failures to provide food for the people of North Korea. By virtue of these accusations, Free Joseon declared the Kim regime an illegitimate government and proclaimed itself to be the true representative government of the people of North Korea: "We declare on this day the establishment of Free Joseon, a provisional government preparing the foundations for a future nation built upon respect for principles of human rights and humanitarianism, holding sacred a manifest dignity for every woman, man, and child. We declare this entity the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north." The declaration continues on by calling upon resistance to the Kim regime of those who currently live under its rule and for Koreans abroad to lend their support to Free Joseon.
On 15 March 2019, The Washington Post reported that Free Joseon was involved in the February 22 raid on North Korea's embassy in Madrid. Spanish media linked several participants in the raid to the CIA.
On June 30, 2019, Free Joseon released a statement on United States President Donald Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un in which the US president symbolically stepped across the border into North Korea at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The statement was critical of the true intent of the North Korean regime in reopening dialogue with the United States on the issue of Denuclearisation stating "Millions starved to death, hundreds of thousands of citizens in concentration camps, and hundreds of foreigners kidnapped and assassinated will attest that, unfortunately, the regime in Pyongyang has never acted in good faith and only seeks to stall while it continues to proliferate weapons of mass destruction and commit mass atrocities. Regretfully, these empty gestures by the Kim regime serve only to deceive the world and empower an immoral criminal regime".
- "[Newsmaker] Group claims establishment of NK provisional government". The Korea Herald. March 1, 2019. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- "Shadowy group declares 'government-in-exile' for North Korea". France24. March 1, 2019. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- "A shadowy group trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un allegedly raided a North Korean embassy in broad daylight". Washington Post. March 15, 2019. Archived from the original on March 16, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Group seeking to overthrow Kim behind North Korea embassy raid in Spain: Washington Post". Reuters. March 16, 2019. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- "What happened at North Korea's embassy in Spain?". BBC. March 13, 2019. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "What to make of a mysterious break-in at the North Korean embassy in Madrid". NKNews.org. March 21, 2019. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "U.S. authorities make first arrest in mysterious raid of North Korea's Embassy in Spain". Washington Post. April 19, 2019. Archived from the original on April 20, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Eric Shawn: President Trump, Kim Jong-un...and Otto Warmbier. America's Newsroom. Fox News Channel. June 30, 2019. https://video.foxnews.com/v/6054047801001/#sp=news-clips/world