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Keynote speaker Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul, South Korea. She has recently completed writing her memoir, The Girl With Seven Names, which will be published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries. Over 5 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China and struggle to bring her family to freedom.
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The Girl with seven names
Hyeonseo Lee has given testimony about North Korean human rights in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council, and has discussed the issues with important leaders such as UN Ambassador Samantha Powers.
She recently completed her undergraduate studies in English and Chinese at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and has been a Young Leader at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Hyeonseo Lee spends much of her time speaking about North Korean human rights and North Korean refugee issues, including speeches at the Stanford University Global Speaker Series, Princeton University, New York University Law School, and at various venues throughout Europe. She has personally met public officials like UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the South Korean Minister of Unification, Yu Woo-ik, to discuss these issues.
Hyeonseo Lee has written articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Korea Real-Time, the London School of Economics Big Ideas blog, and worked as a student journalist for the South Korean Ministry of Unification. She has also been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, CBS News and numerous other television, newspaper and radio outlets throughout the world.
She is currently writing another book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea, and is planning to start an organization to help promising North Korean refugees interact with the international community.
My escape from North Korea
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was “the best on the planet.” It wasn’t until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14 to begin a life in hiding as a refugee in China.
This incredible personal tale of survival and hope. From her life inside North Korea, her escape and her experiences as a refugee. Her story a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.