Jordan Peterson Yeonmi Park

Yeonmi Park

Yeonmi Park is a prominent North Korean defector and human rights activist, known for her courageous advocacy against the oppressive regime of North Korea. Born on October 4, 1993, in Hyesan, North Korea, Park witnessed first-hand the harsh realities of life under the North Korean government. Her journey to freedom was fraught with peril, including a harrowing escape to China at the age of 13, followed by a risky passage to South Korea. Park's experiences have made her a vocal and influential critic of the North Korean regime. She has taken her message to a global stage, speaking at various high-profile venues, including the One Young World 2014 Summit in Dublin. Her memoir, "In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom," provides a powerful account of her life in North Korea and her journey to freedom. Park's activism extends to raising awareness about the plight of North Korean refugees and the human rights abuses in her home country. Her efforts have earned her international recognition and she continues to be a symbol of resilience and a voice for those still suffering under the North Korean regime.

Books Mentioned in this Podcast with Jordan Peterson & Yeonmi Park:

Book Title: In Order to Live – A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

Author: Yeonmi Park

Book Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

Book Title: 12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos

Author: Jordan B. Peterson

Book Title: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Book Title: Plato on Love

Author: Plato

Book Title: Siddhartha

Author: Hermann Hesse

Summary of The Jordan B Peterson Podcast #172 - Yeonmi Park

In Jordan B Peterson’s podcast #172, he sits down with Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector and human rights activist. They discuss her life under the North Korean regime, her escape from the country, and her activism. The podcast sheds light on the brutal reality of life in North Korea and the struggles faced by defectors.

Life in North Korea

Yeonmi Park shares her experiences of growing up in North Korea. Where she was taught to worship the leader and live in constant fear of being punished for even minor offenses. She describes how her family had to rely on black market trade to survive and how they often went without basic necessities like food and electricity. Yeonmi also shares her memories of watching public executions and the indoctrination of children in schools to support the regime.

Escape from North Korea

Yeonmi Park shares the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea. Which involved crossing the frozen Yalu River into China with her mother. They had to navigate through a dangerous human trafficking network to reach safety in South Korea. Yeonmi describes the challenges and dangers of the journey, including the fear of being caught by Chinese authorities and the risk of being sold into slavery.

The Reality of Freedom

Jordan Peterson and Yeonmi Park discuss the reality of freedom and the challenges faced by North Korean defectors in adapting to a new life. Yeonmi shares how difficult it was to adjust to the new culture and how she faced discrimination and prejudice from some South Koreans. She emphasizes that freedom is not just about physical liberty but also about the freedom to think, speak, and live without fear.

Human Rights Activism

Yeonmi Park has become an outspoken human rights activist, advocating for the rights of North Korean defectors and other oppressed groups. She discusses the importance of raising awareness about human rights abuses and the need for international intervention. Yeonmi also shares her experiences of speaking at the United Nations and the challenges of making an impact in the face of political resistance.

Overcoming Trauma

Jordan Peterson and Yeonmi Park discuss the psychological impact of trauma and how to overcome it. Yeonmi shares how she has struggled with trauma-related issues like anxiety and depression and how she has found therapy and writing to be helpful in processing her experiences. Jordan Peterson emphasizes the importance of facing one’s trauma and finding meaning in the suffering, which can lead to personal growth and resilience.

The Power of Hope

Yeonmi Park believes that hope is a powerful force that can help people overcome adversity. She shares how her faith and the hope for a better future helped her endure the hardships of life in North Korea and the challenges of escaping to freedom. Yeonmi also talks about the importance of finding hope in dark times and inspiring others to do the same.


In conclusion, The Jordan B Peterson podcast #172 with Yeonmi Park is a compelling conversation that provides a rare glimpse into life in North Korea and the struggles faced by defectors. Yeonmi’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of hope in overcoming adversity. Jordan Peterson’s insights on trauma and resilience provide valuable guidance for anyone facing difficult times. Overall, the podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in human rights, resilience, and the human experience.