Yeonmi Park: What I learned about freedom after escaping North Korea
North Korean defector Yeonmi Park is becoming a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
in the northern part of North Korea,
rice and later copper
decided to escape.
what the word "escape" means
the concept of escape,
from China at night,
about what was going to happen.
building caught fire.
what it feels like to live there.
your life on Mars right now.
has only one meaning:
of romantic love in North Korea.
understand the concept,
that concept is even a possibility.
is an almighty god
he was actually a dictator,
looking at a picture of him,
that he was fat.
what you're told to see.
inside North Korea?
for 70 years of this oppression?"
you're isolated or oppressed,
definition of isolation,
in the center of the universe.
what is right and wrong,
justice and injustice,
on the street right now,
and dead on the streets.
the concept of compassion.
empathy and sympathy in my heart
"compassion" and the concept,
as a free person.
our President Trump,
is not important enough
for executing his uncle,
something new about freedom now.
George Orwell's "1984."
right now who don't have a voice,
when we are not free?
that we care about climate change,
about animals' rights,
how beautiful our heart is,
who cannot speak for themselves.
cannot speak for themselves.
in the 21st century.
on earth right now.
to my fellow North Koreans
that an alternative life is possible.
every reason to be hopeful.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERYeonmi Park - Human rights activist
North Korean defector Yeonmi Park is becoming a leading voice of oppressed people around the world.
Why you should listen
Yeonmi Park's escape from North Korea has given the world a window into the lives of its people. At the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, Park became an international phenomenon, delivering passionate and deeply personal speeches about the brutality of the North Korean regime. Her address to One Young World on the horrors of detention camps, political executions and sex trafficking has been viewed over 320 million times on YouTube. The BBC named her one of their "Top Global Women."
In 2017, Park joined the Tory Burch Foundation's Embrace Ambition campaign, a global effort to dispel the double standard of ambition as a positive trait in men and a negative trait in women. Her searing memoir, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom, was released in the fall 2015, and now she's urging the world to recognize the oppressed people of Kim Jong-Un's reign. She believes that change will come through young people like herself, whose exposure to capitalism and Western media is eroding the authority of the Kim dynasty.
Currently a student at Columbia University, Park has published an op-ed about North Korea's "black market generation” in the Washington Post and has been featured on CNN, CNBC and the BBC, as well as in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Human Rights Foundation, the world's preeminent organization devoted to disrupting dictatorships.
Yeonmi Park | Speaker | TED.com