Park Eun-Mi

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Park Eun-mi
Other names Evelyn Jeong
Born 1991
North Korea
Known for defecting from North Korea

Park Eun-mi is a defector from North Korea, known for offering her account of conditions in North Korea, the seven years it took her to safely escape from North Korea.[1]


Park is the older sister of prominent defector Park Yeon-mi.[2] Her sister has described believing, for years, her sister had perished while trying to defect.

Their father was a privileged member of the North Korean elite, who fell out of favor when they were children.[3] The sisters describe their father being taken away, and punished, for years. When he was allowed to return to his family, in 2007, he was ill, and encouraged his family to defect.

Her sister describes her father dying, in China, in 2008.[3]


Park fled a few days before her mother and sister.[2] She was just 16 years old.[3] During their own defection her sister and mother made inquiries with the people smugglers who got them out of North Korea. They were told she had died. They describe believing she was killed while trying to resist being sexually assaulted.

Park describes finding a restaurant owner who provided a place for her to live in China, but who exploited her.[1][4] She describes being coerced to work for the restaurant owner without pay, since he threatened he would report her to Chinese authorities, resulting in her deportation.

She describes slipping away from the restaurant owner, who she says paid underworld figures to pursue her.[1] She believes if they caught her, her life was at risk.[4]


Australian news show Dateline broadcast a segment profiling the surviving members of the Park family.[1][3] She told reporters that she still feels fear about talking about the details of her defection.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Josh Saunders. North Korea emboldened: How Chinese gangs help and prop up Kim Jong-un's rogue state, The Express, 2020-05-31. Retrieved on 2020-12-23. “There she was at the mercy of a restaurant owner who exploited her and when she tried to escape instructed a gang to pursue her – they were instructed to either kill her or have her deported.
  2. 2.0 2.1 North Korean defector: 'I am still not free', Deutche Welle. Retrieved on 2020-12-23. “'I wasn't dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea… I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice... and searching for my older sister, Eun-mi, who had left for China a few days earlier,' she wrote in her book.”
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mary Anne Jolley. Celebrity Defector: Speaking out against North Korea, Dateline, 2014-09-03. Retrieved on 2020-12-23.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bhaswati Guha Majumder. Who Is Park Eunmi? North Korean Woman Smuggled Herself to China in Search of Better Future, International Business Times, 2020-06-01. Retrieved on 2020-12-23. “Park Eunmi, is one such defectors who had spent several years in hiding after she smuggled herself across the North Korean border into China and now she has revealed how barbaric gangs in China play a crucial role in exploiting defectors.”