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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Hyeonseo Lee: North Korea Defector TED Talk

by | March 26th, 2013 | 07:00 am
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One reason we were motivated to write Witness to Transformation is to add in our small way to the collective memory. But nothing is more compelling than letting the refugees speak for themselves. In the attached TED talk, Hyeonseo Lee tells her story in a simple, direct and moving way: the indoctrination as a child, the shock of the famine, the decision to leave, the difficulties in both China and South Korea. A particularly compelling part of her talk is the struggle that individual refugees face in seeking to retrieve their families and the role of sheer chance in who makes it and who doesn’t.

Lee’s forward-looking conclusion is that the international community plays a key role in getting refugees out. Currently a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Lee has clearly become an important new voice in the refugee community. As you will see, there is nothing more effective than simply telling the truth.