North Korean defector and Human Rights Activist
Jihyun Park is a North Korean refugee living in the UK. Park first escaped North Korea with her brother in 1998 when they traveled to China and were preyed on by human traffickers that tragically separated them. Park was then sold into a forced marriage to a Chinese farmer for 5,000 yuan (600 pounds) with whom she had a child deemed stateless by the Chinese government. In 2004 local villagers reported Park to the authorities resulting in her repatriation to North Korea and the endurance of horrific conditions in a labor camp. It was here Park developed gangrene and the guards threw her out of the prison as they believed she was close to death. A kind stranger nursed her back to health and helped her to escape for the final time and reunite with her son. In 2013, Park gave testimony of her experiences at the UN Commission of Inquiry's London hearings. Park now lives in the United Kingdom where she works as a North Korean Women’s Rights Activist , a Producer for BBC Online Korea Radio and as a North Korean Outreach and Project Officer for the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea.