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My Escape From North Korea

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In partnership with LSE SU Korea Future Forum

LeeA unique opportunity to learn about, discuss, and ask questions about the severe violation of human rights in North Korea and North Korean refugee issues, offered in partnership with the LSE SU Korea Future Forum. Hyeonseo Lee will present her story of survival, resilience and hope as a North Korean defector and refugee. Having delivered a testimony at the UN Security Council and a speech on TEDx previously, she will reveal her personal experiences and address the broader issues facing refugees and defectors around the world. Her memoir, ‘The Girl with Seven Names – A North Korean Defector’s Story’, was published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries, and has since appeared in publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.


Hyeonseo Lee, is a North Korean defector living in Seoul, South Korea. Her memoir, The Girl with Seven Names – A North Korean Defector’s Story, was published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries. Hyeonseo 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  world 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.

Her speaking engagements include the Stanford University Global Speaker Series, Princeton University, New York University School of Law and various venues throughout Europe. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and she has been interviewed by media outlets such as the BBC, CNN and CBS. Hyeonseo is currently writing her second book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea, and she plans to establish an organisation to help promising North Korean refugees interact with the international community.

Chetan Bhatt (chair) is Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Sociology

Event Recording

An audio recording of the event is online here

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