October 30 2015

Yeonmi Park is an Exceptional and Excellent Human Rights Activist

The current world has many incidences of injustices and oppression. Some of them are publicized while most of them are unnoticed. Someone has to stand and condemn these issues in the strongest terms possible and implement measures to curb them. As it stands, Yeonmi Park at just twenty-one years is spearheading a campaign to eradicate oppression and bring freedom. She had such a tough childhood and survived the ruthless and tyrannical North Korea regime. She feels it is her obligation to stand and speak on behalf of her unfairly treated people.

She was born in Hyesan, North Korea on October 4, 1993. Her father was employed by the Hyesan town hall, and a mother was North Korean Army’ nurse. Upon the arrest of her father, she defected to South Korea together with her mother. The South Korean ambassadors helped her family to settle fully and integrate with people in Seoul. Currently, she pursues a Criminal Justice major at Dongguk University in Seoul.

She is a gifted and vocal woman whose interests in defending human rights were enhanced after watching Titanic, the 1997 movie. She attended the One Young World 2014 Summit and gave a moving speech about her life in North Korea and experiences during the escape. The video of her speech was uploaded and attracted over 2 million views within a short time she utilized the global fame platform to spearhead her activism campaign. She has an amazing way of analyzing issues, watching her speak on the program on yeonmi.net that tries to eradicate the gap existing between South and North Koreans will startle you. She regularly appears on a show called Now “On My Way to Meet You” on a South Korea TV to air her views. She is an industrious student with an ability to balance both academics and co-curricular activities. When not in class she co-hosts TV podcast Casey Lartigue and Yeonmi Park Show. In her show, she mostly handles North Korean topics and refugees’ life after defection. In addition, she is an active humanitarian, and she volunteers for the Teach North Korean Refugees program.

Yeonmi Park has established a reputable and influential niche in the world of activism. She is admirably well spoken, having been interviewed by the Guardian and worked as a columnist for the Washington Post. She is an active member of Liberty in North Korea (LINK); a humanitarian organization ensures North Korean refugees settle well in the United States and South Korea. Together with popular North Korean activists such as Seongmin Lee and Yang, they enlightened the participants on the duties of LINK, and ways of supporting North Korean refugees.

She has achieved a lot, but she is not going to rest until a positive change occurs in North Korea. She calls on other activists to continue condemning injustices against human rights. She trusts that one day North Korea will be a country that will attract tourists and top-notch investors across the globe. She believes her story will encourage many never to give up especially the North Korean citizen. Therefore, she is in the process of compiling a book containing the story of her life for the Penguin.