Exclusive — North Korean Defector Yeonmi Park: America Hatred at Universities Worse than Taught in North Korea

Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News

North Korean defector and author Yeonmi Park told Breitbart News at Turning Point USA’s annual Young Women’s Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday that the hatred for the United States taught on college campuses is worse than the North Korean government’s.

“When I came to America, I later went to study at Columbia University in New York, and you know what’s happening at Columbia University,” Park said. “At some point, I couldn’t believe if this was a North Korean classroom or an American classroom.”

“The anti-freedom, anti-West, anti-American sentiment was so deep. Their hatred for the American constitution was even more than the North Korean government’s,” Park continued.

“I couldn’t believe that people were chanting the same ideology that brought North Korean people misery,” she added.

Park went on to say that what students want on U.S. college campuses, such as “collectivism, an equality of outcomes, and socialism,” keeps her up at night.

“I live in New York City,” Park said. “Every single day, I see the city is getting destroyed, and at such a fast pace, too.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Park said that she did not know what freedom was until long after her escape from North Korea.

“When I was actually escaping from North Korea at the age of 13, I wasn’t looking for freedom, because I did not even know what that was. I was simply looking for a bowl of rice,” she said.

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Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News

“But later, after I went to South Korea, I started reading these books by George Orwell, like 1984 and Animal Farm, and that’s when I truly understood what it meant to live in a dictatorship — what freedom really is,” Park continued. “And that took a long time for me, actually, to understand the concept of freedom.”

Park added that she still wakes up from nightmares that she is being arrested or executed in North Korea.

“Even though, physically, I am free right now, I am still haunted by the North Korean regime. I have a lot of threats from Kim Jong-un’s regime, currently,” she said.

Park is also the author of While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector’s Search for Freedom in America and In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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