Following her rapid rise to prominence since the One Young World Summit 2014, One Young World Ambassador Yeonmi Park returned with her own Special Session, ‘In Order to Live.'
The session was named after her newly published book of the same title, inspired by her life story that she told so movingly at last year’s Summit. With the video of her delegate speech amassing over 2 million views on YouTube, she discussed what she has been doing since the Summit in Dublin. A subject of extensive news coverage, she has taken part in important symposiums including the Oslo Freedom Forum and Women in the World Summit in New York, and has addressed the United Nations and an A.P.P.G. in British Parliament.
Yeonmi, who is only 22 years old, recounted the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea and the human trafficking her and her mother endured in China. She expressed how her mother was 'sold to traffickers for less than the price of an iPhone', shedding light on the dark reality thousands of North Korean women face. She revealed that her mother was worth $65, and herself $260.
She told of life after her escape, describing how she slowly began to learn about the expansive world that existed beyond the borders of her native country. Upon her entry into the global sphere, she was enlightened about the existence of how many countries there were, the United Nations, and the study of philosophy.
A critical reminder of her powerful speech in Dublin, she reiterated that while Kim Jong-un is extensively mocked by the international community, he was not a joke to her. She expressed that 'he was a God she had to worship out of a need to survive.'
She thanked everyone for listening to her story, and pleaded for greater international action on behalf of the millions of North Korean suffering from starvation and oppression. Yet again, Yeonmi received a standing ovation, touching the hearts of her fellow One Young World delegates and Counsellors.
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