Eunmi Park

Keynote Speaker

Eunmi Park joined Freedom Speakers International as an English language student in May 2014 shortly after she escaped from North Korea. She has kept a low profile over the last eight years. She has spoken at three FSI events, but she was never announced as a speaker and her identity remained hidden. In 2022, she joined FSI’s North Korean Refugee Keynote Speakers Network.

“I am Eunmi Park, a North Korean defector who escaped in 2007 and was trafficked in China. I am currently working as an elementary school teacher in South Korea.

“Since I moved to South Korea eight years ago, I have hidden my identity as a North Korean refugee. This is because I went through a dark period in China from the age of 17, where I was a victim of human trafficking, detained, and threatened. It was not my fault to live such a life. I thought the only reason I had to go through all that was because I was born in North Korea. However, the real reason I had to hide my past was that most people criticized me when I revealed it rather than show sympathy.

“I think perpetrators should feel guilty about their crimes. The people who sold me are still living well in China without guilt, but ironically, I am the one who has always been anxious that other people might find out about my past. I wish that one day I can live in a world where those perpetrators regret their wrongdoings and feel guilty.

“I want to live more confidently from now on. I will also try my best to not let my past negatively affect my future. Of course, it is not an easy decision to reveal my past to the world. However, if this can give courage and hope to those who have the same emotional scars as me, I will share my stories without hesitation. I will constantly strive to live a better life. If my story helps you, please always show me your support.”

  • 2016-2018: Worked as an instructor for peaceful unification education.
  • February 2020: Graduated from Gyeongin National University of Education.
  • 2021-current: Elementary school teacher
  • 2023: Author of a forthcoming book.