Yeonmi Park

Park in 2023 Yeonmi Park (; born 4 October 1993) is a North Korean defector, YouTuber, author, and American conservative activist, described as being "one of the most famous North Korean defectors in the world". She fled from North Korea to China in 2007 at the age of 13 before moving to South Korea, then to the United States. Park made her media debut in 2011 on the show ''Now On My Way to Meet You'', where she was dubbed "Paris Hilton" due to her stories of her family's wealthy lifestyle. She came to wider global attention following her speech at the 2014 One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Park's memoir ''In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom'' was published in September 2015, and as of 2023 has sold over 100,000 copies. During the 2020s, she became a voice for American conservatism with speeches, podcasts and the 2023 publication of her second book, ''While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector's Search for Freedom in America''.

The authenticity of Park's claims about life in North Korea – many of which have contradicted her earlier stories and those of both her mother and fellow defectors from North Korea – have been the subject of widespread skepticism. Political commentators, journalists and professors of Korean studies have criticized Park's accounts of life in North Korea for having various inconsistencies, contradictory claims, and exaggerations. Other North Korean defectors, including those from the same city as Park, have expressed concern that the tendency for "celebrity defectors" to exaggerate about life in North Korea will bring doubts on their stories. In 2014 ''The Diplomat'' published an investigation by journalist Mary Ann Jolley who had previously worked with Park, documenting numerous inconsistencies in Park's memories and descriptions of life in Korea. Later in July 2023, a ''Washington Post'' investigation found there was little truth to Park's claims about life in North Korea. Park attributed her early discrepancies to her imperfect memory and language skills, and the co-author of Park's autobiography, Maryanne Vollers, claimed that Park was the victim of a North Korean smear campaign.

Park runs the YouTube channel "Voice of North Korea by Yeonmi Park", which as of July 2023 has over one million subscribers. Her political views have been characterized as "American conservative," and she has criticized the concepts of political correctness and woke culture in the United States, drawing parallels between political correctness in the U.S. and North Korea. Provided by Wikipedia
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