London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

North Korean Memoirs with Yeonmi Park and Jihyun Park

If you missed out on the event in Parliament earlier this week (KBS report here), there’s a repeat in a slightly bigger venue on Monday.

North Korean Memoirs with Yeonmi Park and Jihyun Park

Monday 3rd November 2014, 2pm – 4pm
St Anne’s Church London W1D 6AF.

Memoirs banner

Due to the high demand, we are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a second event with Yeonmi Park and Jihyun Park on Monday, November 3rd in St. Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, London at 2pm.

“Following the great famine of the mid-1990s, North Korea has underwent profound and irreversible change. A surge in blackmarket activity – markets which were first established in the early 1980s – following the famine has led to the increasing fragmentation of a hitherto extremely centralised and continually oppressive politics. What does that mean for the lives of ordinary North Koreans? The European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea is delighted to invite you to join us for a discussion featuring Yeonmi Park and Jihyun Park as part of our North Korean Memoirs platform at St. Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, London on the 3rd of November, where they will discuss how the black market has changed the country and what their lives were like in North Korea.

Yeonmi Park is part of the millennial generation of North Koreans. Born in Hyesan City in 1993, Yeonmi grew up in Pyongyang, experiencing a relatively comfortable lifestyle by comparison to most North Koreans. Her father was imprisoned for selling goods to China, forcing the family to leave Pyongyang. After his release, Yeonmi’s family decided to leave North Korea in 2007. Since arriving in South Korea in 2009, Yeonmi has become prominent as an outspoken human rights activist. She currently cohosts “North Korea Today” on OTV.

Jihyun Park is EAHRNK’s North Korean Outreach and Project Coordinator. She was born in Chongjin City in the 1960s. After growing up in a fairly middle class family where her mother operated a business in the very earliest black markets, Jihyun entered university. Graduating with a degree in math and science, she went on to become a high school teacher. During the famine, she fled North Korea for China. Jihyun was eventually arrested, repatriated, and sentenced to a period in a labour camp. After being released, she fled North Korea again. After a number of years in China, she came to the UK with her family in 2008.

Although both Jihyun and Yeonmi experienced life in North Korea in an era where the state’s economic control has been eroding, the structure and size of the black market activity and the ability of the state to enforce totalitarian control has greatly shifted in the years following the famine. Their differing experiences pre- and post-famine will ensure the audience understand the nuance of the changes in North Korean society over the past two decades.”

The facebook event is here:

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