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Yeonmi Park: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

Mar 20, 2019 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

About Yeonmi Park

Twenty-four-year-old human rights activist and North Korean defector Yeonmi Park is fast becoming a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. At the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, she became an international phenomenon, delivering passionate and deeply personal speeches about the brutality of the North Korean regime. Her speech from the One Young World Summit has been viewed over 80 million times.

Born in Hyesan, North Korea, Yeonmi grew up in a society devoted to the worship of Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il and hatred for enemies of his regime. It was normal for Park to see dead bodies as she walked to school and to be so hungry she ate wild plants.

In 2007, Yeonmi and her mother crossed a frozen river into China, hiding from Chinese authorities for two years before finally seeking refuge in South Korea. Yeonmi’s searing memoir about her escape, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, was released in fall 2015.

Yeonmi has taken it upon herself to tell the story of millions, 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, Yeonmi 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 The Wall Street Journal. She serves on the board of directors of the Human Rights Foundation.

This event is brought to you by EY. 





If you have any questions about the event, please contact Anna Harrison at or 412-281-7027.

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