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Yeonmi Park | Escaping North Korea

Human rights activist and author Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, a brutal, communist society devoted to the worship of Kim Jong-Il. At the age of 13, she and her family made a daring escape to China in search of a life free of tyranny. In her viral talks, viewed online nearly 350 million times, Park urges audiences to recognise—and resist—the oppression that exists in North Korea, and around the world. In this interview she recounts her story of escape from North Korea, only to be sold into slavery in China, before eventually finding freedom in South Korea and the US. Her personal story is a cautionary one for us in the West as she articulates her concern that there is a creeping authoritarianism spreading through our society and its institutions. She warns us that our freedoms are precious and precarious and that we need to fight to keep hold of them. Her powerful memoir is called, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

00:00 – Intro 01:59 – Why did you write your memoir? 04:40 – Life in North Korea 15:00 – Is it possible to love in North Korea? 27:53 – Escape from North Korea, sold into slavery in China 32:50 – Is the West sinking into totalitarianism too? 35:09 – Good and evil in the human spirit 39:00 – What did you learn from Christian missionaries in China? 48:11 – How did you learn to become reintegrated as a person? 53:25 – After all you’ve been through, do you believe in God? 56:55 – How will Information Technology impact totalitarianism? 1:02:43 – How do you deal with fear?

Conversations feature John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, interviewing the world’s foremost thought leaders about today’s pressing social, cultural and political issues. John believes proper, robust dialogue is necessary if we are to maintain our social strength and cohesion. As he puts it; “You cannot get good public policy out of a bad public debate.”

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