North Korean Defector Compares Her Ivy League School to the Country She Fled


A North Korean defector and human rights activist detailed her Columbia University experience in a video, calling America’s future “as bleak as North Korea.”

Yeonmi Park defected from North Korea in 2007 at the age of 13.

In 2016 she transferred to Columbia University from a South Korean university, where she encountered “anti-Western sentiment, collective guilt and suffocating political correctness,” Fox News reported.

During orientation, Park was rebuked when she said she liked literature, such as the works of Jane Austen.

A Columbia staff member asked her if she knew that “those writers had a colonial mindset.”

Elon Musk Warns Taylor Swift as Singer Takes Shot at 'Chads, Brads and Dads'

“They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you,” Park said in an interview with Fox News.

Park published a memoir in 2015 titled “In Order to Live,” where she recounts her experience under the North Korean regime and her struggle for freedom, as many North Korean defectors have done before her to shed light on the difficulty that its citizens face.

Her fellow classmates, who were paying “almost half a million dollars” to go to Columbia, talked about how they were oppressed and experiencing injustice.

To Park, however, those classmates seemed unaware of just how hard it is to be free.

Are higher institutions of learning filling young people with harmful ideas?

She said Americans have lost the ability to think critically, pointing to its higher institutions where individuals “choose to be brainwashed” and resent Western democracy.

“Where are we going from here?” she said.

“There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos.”

She described her experience at Columbia as “complete madness,” where she became “very pessimistic about the Western world and “learned to censor herself all over again,” Park said on the “Jordan Peterson Podcast” last month.

“You guys have lost common sense to [a] degree that I, as a North Korean, cannot even comprehend,” she said in a Fox interview.

Patrick Mahomes Throws Tantrum on Sideline as Chiefs Lose Second Straight Game

“The people here are just dying to give their rights and power to the government. That is what scares me the most.”

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit. Photo credit: @DailyCaller on Twitter