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Yeonmi Park is a North Korean Defector who drew social media attention and scrutiny for her harrowing tales of living in the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), and escaping through China at the age of 14. Park runs a YouTube channel named "Voice of North Korea by Yeonmi Park" and has made an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. Yeonmi claims to have subsided on a diet of "plants" in North Korea that turned "poisonous" in June, leading to widespread starvation. In May 2023, a clip of Yeonmi Park saying that children in North Korea "eat mud" went viral on Twitter. She has also claimed that she was robbed by Black women in Chicago and called "racist" for calling the cops, and has spoken about how the incident turned her "anti-woke" in various media segments and interviews. Park has since been accused of being a grifter prone to sharing exaggerated accounts of her life under the DPRK regime, with some comparing her jokes to the In Soviet Russia… meme format. She has been characterized as a conservative for being a contributor to the conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point USA.
Yeonmi Park is a North Korean defector whose family escaped from North Korea to China in the year 2007. Her family settled in South Korea in 2009, before she finally moved to the United States in 2014. According to Park, her father operated a black-market smuggling business during the North Korean famine in the 1990s, primarily trading salt, sugar, and other spices. In 2014, Park encountered a wider global audience after she spoke at the 2014 One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland, where she gave a speech about fleeing North Korea. On October 20th, 2014, a recording of her speech was posted to the YouTube channel One Young World, where it gathered over 930,000 views in six years (seen below).
However, Park has been criticized for having inconsistencies in various retellings of her stories and has been accused of exaggerating her accounts of life under the North Korean regime. Park herself has defended against such accusations by attributing them to her limited English skills at the time of her speech, and her imperfect memory. During a stint on a South Korean reality show centered around North Korean defectors, Park characterized her family in North Korea as "rich," showing photos of her mother wearing imported Japanese clothing and a Chanel bag (images seen below).
Social Media Presence
Yeonmi Park runs a YouTube channel called "Voice of North Korea by Yeonmi Park," where she discusses her life under the North Korean Regime. Some of her more popular videos are titled, "Daily Life of a North Korean," and "Kim Jong-Un brutally shoots an orchestra conductor 90 times in front of every artist in Pyongyang." She also has an active Twitter profile where she shares information about her life under the DPRK regime.
Yeonmi Park Joe Rogan Experience Interview
Prior to Park's Joe Rogan interview, she spoke with Jordan Peterson on May 31st, 2021 to criticize her experience at Columbia University, saying, "Even North Korea was not this nuts." She recounts being scolded for enjoying the literature of Jane Austen at the school. The video has gathered over 3.2 million views in two years (seen below).
On August 3rd, 2021, Yeonmi Park went on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where she discussed seeing a boy "begging for food" while his intestines were hanging outside his body. The video gathered over 3.7 million views in two years (seen below, left). In another interview segment, she outlines her escape from North Korea into China, where she describes being sold into sex slavery.
Yeonmi Park's stories about her harrowing life in North Korea are sometimes criticized by internet commentators who note inconsistencies in her stories or consider her accounts to be dramatic exaggerations of life under the DPRK regime.
On August 31st, 2021, Twitter user @catcontentonly posted a list of her favorite "Yeonmi Park atrocity propaganda" stories, gathering over 2,400 likes in two years (seen below, left). On May 4th, 2023, Twitter user @kimilsungist posted a parody of Park's interview with Joe Rogan, gathering over 140,000 likes in a week (seen below, right).
On May 8th, Twitter user @BadSocialisms posted a tweet about Park as well, gathering over 30,000 likes in five days (seen below, left). Also on May 8th, Twitter user @beigepilled posted a parody of Park's Rogan interview, gathering over 7,900 likes in five days (seen below, right).
On May 9th, 2023 Twitter user @joblessthursday reposted a video of Park saying that she ate "plants" during her time in North Korea, and that the plans became "poisonous" after June 1st. In the clip, she also says that Spring is called the "Season of Death" in North Korea because it becomes hard to find "even any one single rat to eat." The video gathered over 400,000 views in four days (seen below).
when you're in a lying competition and your opponent is yeonmi park pic.twitter.com/y19IKQjAFI
— TOTK LOCKDOWN !! sybil grimalkin (@joblessthursday) May 9, 2023
On May 10th, 2023, Twitter user @FagathaGagatha posted a video of Park saying that parents in North Korea feed their children mud, despite knowing the deathly risks of doing so, because they have no choice. The video gathered over 8.5 million views in two days (seen below).
I CANT BREATHE 😭😭😭😭😭😭
she had to come up with something real quick pic.twitter.com/6uVnDX1QDY
— Dame Fagatha Christie, PhD (@FagathaGagatha) May 10, 2023
 Internet Archive – One Young World Summit
 YouTube – One Young World
 The Diplomat – North Korean Defectors
 The Diplomat – The Stange Tale of Yeonmi Park
 YouTube – Jordan Peterson
 YouTube – Joe Rogan Experience
 YouTube – Voice of North Korea
 Twitter – YeonmiParkNK
 Twitter – catcontentonly
 Twitter – kimilsungist
 Twitter – BadSocialisms
 Twitter – beigepilled
 Twitter – FagathaGagatha
 Twitter – joblessthursday
 YouTube – Joe Rogan Experience
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