Young Defectors From North Korea Speak Out At TED Conference In California (Video)

by
Sameera Ehteram
A new generation of defectors from North Korea step in the limelight at the TED conference in California to tell their stories, marking a major change.
A new generation of defectors from North Korea step in the limelight at the TED conference in California to tell their stories, marking a major change.
 
 North Korean defector Lee Hyeon-seo told her story to the TED conference in California. Since February her speech has picked up 1.6 million internet views. Once such defectors to South Korea lived on the margins of society. Lee, now a university student in Seoul, is one of a new generation no longer prepared to keep quiet.
 
"I'd like to speak out more to the international community about North Korean defectors. So I have to study English diligently. And I want to study human rights issues inNorth Korea and I'm now interested in international civil rights as well."
 
Ji Seong-ho fought his way across the border into China on makeshift crutches.
 
He lost his left leg and hand falling from a moving train as he tried to steal coal to make money.
 
Today he's president of an organization which broadcasts each week from South Korea to the North.
 
Ji was among the demonstrators protesting against the forced repatriation of North Koreans.
 
The United Nations said in May month it had credible evidence that China sent back nine young defectors in May, possibly to face severe punishment or even execution.
 
North Korean state broadcaster KRT on Wednesday accused South Korean activists of abducting them.
 
South Korea says it's now home to about 25, 000 defectors from the North.
 
The younger generation is hoping it’s more vocal attitude will speed the end of South Korean prejudice they say is already on the ebb.
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