Apart from being popular as the girl who escaped North Korea, there are other interesting facts you must understand regarding Yeon-Mi Park. Some of these include her education, as a celebrity, reporter, and so on.
Since she escaped, Yeon-Mi Park spoke and wrote publicly about her life while she was still in North Korea. She also wrote some articles for Washington Post and was interviewed in The Guardian. She also volunteered for some activist programs like Freedom Factory Corporation, which is considered as a free market think tank located in South Korea. She is also part of the LiNK or Liberty in North Korea. This is a nonprofit organization that rescues refugees from North Korea as well as resettle them to South Korea and US.
Last June 2014, Yeon-Mi Park participated the LiNK summit that was held in Pepperdine University. Yeon-Mi Park along with two other North Korean activists, Seongmin Lee and Joo Yang, worked in sessions or labs for them to educate the participants about the North Korea conditions and how it would give support to each refugee. Yeon-Mi Park has taken the role for LiNK campaign that was referred to as Jangmadang. This is the term used for black market in North Korea. This is where people may exchange goods that were smuggled in North Korea. During the campaign, she always wanted to record her story on video. The campaign operate until Fall 2014.
Yeon-Mi Park spoke about the tourism of North Korea as they are encouraged to bow to Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II’s statues. She thinks that it’s a way to help the propaganda of regime by letting themselves to be portrayed that they obey their leader. Yeon-Mi Park also told her story at various events like Oslo Freedom Forum, One Young World summit, and many more.
When her education matters, Yeon-Mi Park serves as one of the human rights activists as well as a celebrity while finishing her education in South Korea. She enrolled at South Korea’s Dongguk University as a third year student and focus only on criminal justice. As a celebrity, she is renowned as Park Ye-ju and can be seen on a TV program referred to as “Now On My Way to Meet You”, which is a chat show combined with musical and talent quest broadcast. This TV show also revolves about the truth in North Korea. The defectors are giving different insight to South Koreans about their lives in North Korea.
Yeon-Mi Park also worked as a host in a particular talk show, which is called North Korea Today. The podcast focuses on discussing topics in North Korea and the life of every refugee after escaping. She also volunteered for the chance to let the world know about the North Korean refugees and how people can take action when achieving their freedom.
Other than being a host, a celebrity, and activist, Yeon-Mi Park also takes pride from being a reporter. Her role is to write about the events in North Korea. Yeon-Mi Park also became a staff of New Focus International by working as a reporter. This newspaper company is operated by Jang Jin-sung, a former propagandist in North Korea. Together with North Korean defectors, they utilize connections from the defectors for them to get credible information from the country of North Korea to publish and write articles about the different issues related in the said country.
Nevertheless, like some known personalities and celebrities in the industry, numerous individuals criticized Yeon-Mi Park and think that various aspects of her story are not credible. Nevertheless, according to Yeon-Mi Park, her inconsistencies are due to her imperfect English and mistranslations of her statements.