Yeonmi Park Speech: In Search of Freedom

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Yeonmi Park Speech: In Search of Freedom

Learn English with Yeonmi Park. Yeonmi courageously shared her life story on the One Young World stage in Dublin in front of world leaders, international media, and over 1,300 changemakers from all countries around the globe. She emotionally talks about her story of life in North Korea and calls for action against such human rights violators. Park Yeon-mi is a North Korean defector and human rights activist who escaped from North Korea to China in 2007 and settled in South Korea in 2009, before moving to the United States in 2014. In this speech, she also quotes: “No human deserves to be oppressed just because of their birthplace.” – Watch with big English subtitles.

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Yeonmi Park:

Yeonmi Park: When you have so little, just the smallest thing can make you happy.

“When you have so little, just the smallest thing can make you happy.” Yeonmi Park


“I have to do this because this is not just, I am speaking… This is for the people who want to tell the world what they want to say.

North Korea is an unnatural country. There is only one channel on TV and there is no internet. We aren’t free to sing, say, wear or think what we want.

North Korea is the only country in the world that executes people for making unauthorized international phone calls.

North Koreans are being terrorized today.

When I was growing up in North Korea, I never saw anything about love stories between man and woman, no books, no songs, no press, no movies about love stories. There is no Romeo and Juliet, every stories were propagandized to brainwash about the Kim dictators.

I was born in 1993 and I was abducted at birth even before I knew the words ‘freedom’ or ‘human rights’. North Koreans are desperately seeking and dying for freedom at this moment…

When I was 9 years old, I saw my friend’s mother publicly executed. Her crime? Watching a Hollywood movie!

Expressing doubt about the regime can get 3 generations of whole family imprisoned or executed.

When I was 4 years old, I was warned by my mother, not to even whisper, the birds and mice could hear me. I admitted it. I thought the North Korean dictator could read my mind. My father died in China after we escaped North Korea. And I have to bury him at 3 am in secret. I was 14 years old. I couldn’t even cry, I was afraid to be sent back to North Korea.

The day I escaped North Korea; I saw my mother raped. The rapist was a Chinese broker. He had targeted me. I was 13 years old. There is a saying in North Korea, “Women are weak, but mothers are strong”. My mother allowed herself to be raped in order to protect me.

North Korean refugees, about 300,000 are roaming over in China. 70 percent of North Korean women and teenage girls are being victimized and sometimes sold for as a little as 200 dollars. We walked across the Gobi Desert following a compass and when it stopped working, we followed the stars to freedom. I felt only the stars are with us. Mongolia was our freedom moment.

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