I left my parents and siblings in North Korea and escaped alone to South Korea. This program made me feel more responsible and motivated to work hard for the future of North and South Korea.
— WLP 2014 Participant
One of my main goals during this program was to understand the international economic structure and trends of developing countries. By meeting staff at the IMF and the World Bank, I learned about the vision for the world’s economy, the efforts made for developed countries to keep growing and for underdeveloped countries to overcome poverty.
— WLP 2014 Participant

Washington leadership program (WLP)

Our Washington Leadership Program has a nearly 15-year history of bringing motivated North Korean defector and South Korean students to Washington, DC, to develop leadership skills, experience government and history, and learn how to affect change on the Korean Peninsula. College students in South Korea are selected through an open, competitive process and spend three weeks in Washington, DC, and New York City in July. Participants attend lectures, visit international and US institutions, join public events, hold group discussions and meet with young professionals in Washington, DC area. They also experience the nation’s historical and cultural sites and events.  Since 2012, most WLP participants have been North Korean defectors who attend universities in South Korea.

Apply now: Visit our 2018 WLP Application page


KASM annual internship program

Alumni Association

KASM hosts an intern from December through February each year. The intern, chosen among applicants who are alumni of the Washington Leadership Program, completes an internship in Washington, DC, while KASM assists with placement and housing. It is an exceptional opportunity to gain work experience in the US for our WLP alumni.


Washington Leadership Program alumni association and reunions

KASM's WLP alumni are invited to join an alumni association, led by a full elected leadership board. The alumni association facilitates networking, activism, and academic opportunities for alumni of the WLP. The Association also hosts two formal reunion events per year, in which external stakeholders are invited to meet and speak to WLP alumni. Past attendees have included distinguished journalists, US Department of State officials, and North Korea subject matter experts.


public education program (PEP)

This whole process of trying to understand other’s opinion and actively contributing to the discussion helped me develop leadership skills.
— WLP 2014 Participant

Our Public Education Program aims to increase awareness of the issues facing North Korean society that may affect events on the Korean Peninsula. We rely on our network and on the specialized knowledge of our alumni to realize these unique events.

One such PEP event was a speech organized by KASM at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Our guest speaker, a North Korean defector, discussed the challenges and opportunities of higher education system in North Korea.