London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

North Korea: Jihyun Park and Lindsey Miller in conversation

Date: Wednesday 14 June 2023, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Stanfords | 7 Mercer Walk | Covent Garden | London WC2H 9FA | | [Map]

Tickets: £7 | Get tickets here
Jihyun Park and Lindsey Miller with their book covers

Join us with Jihyun Park and Lindsey Miller who have joined forces for this fascinating evening of both gripping and poignant discussion about their own experiences in North Korea and talking about their books The Hard Road Out: One Womans Escape from North Korea and North Korea: Like Nowhere Else.

North Korea is an open-air prison from which there is no escape. Only a handful of men and women have succeeded. Jihyun Park is one of these rare survivors. Twice she left the land of the ‘socialist miracle’ to flee famine and dictatorship.

By the age of 29 she had already witnessed a lifetime of suffering. Family members had died of starvation; her brother was beaten nearly to death by soldiers.

Even smiling and laughing was discouraged.

Clear-eyed and resolute, Jihyun’s extraordinary story reveals a Korea far removed from the talk of nuclear weapons and economic sanctions. She remains sanguine despite the hardship. Recalling life’s tiny pleasures even at her darkest moments, she manages to instill her tale with incredible grace and humanity.

This beautiful book offers a stark lesson in determination, and ultimately in the importance of asylum.

THE HARD ROAD OUT One Woman’s Escape from North Korea Jihyun Park and Seh-Lynn Chai Translated by Sarah Baldwin-Beneich 26 May 2022.

The harrowing story of a woman who escaped famine and terror in North Korea, not once but twice. ‘A gripping, suspenseful and cathartic memoir that tells a story of pain and perseverance and makes the moral case for asylum.’ David Lammy MP

‘A story of suffering, detention, fear and humiliation. Eventually, in vividly descriptive books like this one, the voice of the victims will be heard and there will be accountability.’ The Hon Michael Kirby, former Chair of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry On Human Rights Violations in North Korea

For two years, Lindsey lived in North Korea, long regarded as one of the most closed societies on earth. As one of Pyongyang’s small community of resident foreigners, Lindsey was granted remarkable freedoms to experience the country without government minders. She had a front row seat as North Korea shot into the headlines during an unprecedented period of military tension with the US and the subsequent historic Singapore Summit.

However, it was the connection with individuals and their families, and the day-to-day reality of control and repression, that delivered the real revelations of North Korean life, and which left Lindsey utterly changed from the woman who had nervously disembarked from her plane onto an empty runway just two years before.

This is her extraordinary photographic account, a testament to the hidden humanity of North Korea.

‘There was much of the North Koreans and their way of life that I liked and admired, and Lindsey Miller’s book brought back those positive feelings. And if we don’t acknowledge those we will never begin to understand the country.’ Michael Palin

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