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Speaking out

What is it like to escape life in North Korea? This incredible speech will tell you

Yeonmi Park gave a speech to the One Young World conference on Saturday.

One Young World / YouTube

A 21-YEAR-OLD WOMAN whose family fled North Korea when she was a child has urged the world to shine a light on her home country, “the darkest place in the world”.

Speaking at the One Young World conference in Dublin over the weekend, Yeonmi Park spoke about how her family had escaped the country by walking across the Gobi Desert.

She says that she learned as a child “not to even whisper” in fear of being heard by pro-dictatorship forces.

She recalls how, at nine, she saw her friend’s mother executed in the street.

Her crime? Watching a Hollywood movie.

She talks about how when her father died in China when she was 14 the family had to bury him at 3am for fear of being discovered and sent back to North Korea.

“We were prepared to kill ourselves. Dignity or death.”

She asked delegates to forget the Kim dictatorship, which has ruled the country for 70 years, and remember the people left behind.

Read: Where has Kim Jong-Un gone?

Read: North Korea warns of ‘unpredictable retaliatory strikes’ against South

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