Korean experts to hold panel in Homer

Experts on strategic and human rights issues in the Korean Peninsula will speak from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 22, at Homer United Methodist Church.

Moderated by Chris Story, the panel discusses “Security Challenges and Options for Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Speaking are Robert M. Collins of Human Rights North Korea, U.S. Pacific Command adviser Charles F. Hawkins, and Christian human rights activist Rev. Timothy A. Peters.

Collins is an author and senior adviser for Human Rights North Korea. A 37-year employee of the U.S. Department of the Army, he served for 31 years in various positions with the military in Korea, including positions with the Republic of Korea military. He retired in 2009 as chief of strategy, U.S.-ROK Combined Forces Command, Seoul.

From Ninilchik, Hawkins graduated from West Point and has been involved with national security interests for 50 years. A retired U.S. Army Infantry officer with combat, command and operations experience, his work in the U.S. defense and intelligence community has focused on China and North Korea, including more than 50 visits to China and 25 field trips to the Sino-North Korean border.

A Christian activist based in Seoul, through his church, Helping Hands Korea-Catacombs, Hawkins and his wife Sunmi have provided relief aid and support to the North Korean people for 31 years.

His underground railroad through China to Southeast Asia or Mongolia has helped more than 2,000 North Koreans seek freedom. Donations for Hawkins’ work are welcomed.