Hyeonseo Lee

North Korean Defector & Refugee



March 11, 2018 - Channel 4 News - Defectors supports Trump policy in North Korea


Hyeonseo Lee live at Channel 4 News. See the video here.

February 2, 2018: HYEONSEO LEE at the WHITE HOUSE meeting President Donald Trump

Hyeonseo Lee at White House to meet President Donald Trump

North Korean Defector Hyeonseo Lee was invited by US President Donald Trump at the White House to speak about her escape from North Korea. Also the current situation between North Korea and South Korea was a topic.

October 17, 2017: The Slovak Spectator - Hyeonseo Lee: We should not wait until we start lowering our voices when talking about the mighty.


She chose her latest name herself. She wished to be called Sunshine and Good Fortune; she hoped that with a name full of light, she would avoid walking in shadows. She has already had seven names, and even more roles, and thus, her ambition of happiness is in fact as humble as she is herself.

Please read the full article at spectator.sme.sk

September 27, 2017: THE DEBRIEF Anna Foster: HYEONSEO LEE - The reality of being a young woman in South Korea right now



Hyeonseo Lee is of the most impressive woman I’ve ever met. Fragile-limbed with dark bobbed hair, her haunted eyes cast around us as we speak quietly on a neon-lit.

Please read the full article here online:

June 1, 2017: What it's like living in North Korea - according to a North Korean defector


Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector and the author of "The Girl With Seven Names." She tells us what life was really like in North Korea until she fled at the age of 17. She says about her time in North Korea that it felt like she was living in a prison and that she thought public executions were "very normal things."

Please read the article on businessinsider.com.

May 3, 2017 - FOX NEWS - HYEONSEO LEE: North Korean defector shares her story of regime control

HYEONSEO LEE - North Korean defector shares her story of regime control.

’The Girl with Seven Names’ author Hyeonseo Lee details her escape, talks about how President Trump’s tough talk fosters hope; Greg Palkot has the story for ’Special Report’

Watch the story and the news on video HERE.

February 8, 2017: Financial Times - Lunch with the FT: North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee on escape and the secretive state

North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee on escape and the secretive state. The escapee who made it to China at the age of 17 discusses being a voice of her people.

Please read the full article HERE:

August 24, 2016: FORBES: Freedom Isn't Free: An Interview with North Korean Defector Hyeonseo Lee


In Interview in FORBES Magazine with Hyeonseo Lee.

Topic: Freedoom Isn’t Free.

Please read the Interview HERE.

August 4, 2015 - Vorarlberg Online: Hyeonseo Lee - Schwarze Magnolie

Hyeonseo Lee: Ein langer Weg in die Freiheit – Das erschütternde und berührende Schicksal einer jungen Nordkoreanerin.

July 26, 2015 - South China Morning Post: North Korean Hyeonseo Lee, the accidental defector

North Korean Hyeonseo Lee, the accidental defector
As a teenager she fulfilled a fortune teller’s prophecy by defecting, but found life outside the hermit state, initially in China, presented its own challenges,

July 17, 2015 - NATIONAL POST: How a defector from North Korea realized almost everything she learned about her country was a lie

Hyeonseo Lee in an interview with the NATIONAL POST: How a defector from North Korea realized almost everything she learned about her country was a lie.

July 17, 2015 - THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Hyeonseo Lee: ‘They don’t deserve to die for this’

Hyeonseo Lee in an Interview The Globe and Mail, Canada

July 15, 2015 - CBC Canadian Radio: Hyeonseo Lee in an interview with Canadian Radio

Hyeonseo Lee shares her perilous escape from North Korea

July 15, 2015 - Süddeutsche Zeitung - "Wir tragen Masken"

Hyeonseo Lee: "Wir tragen Masken" (We wear masks") - Very interesting Interview with the German newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung".

July 13, 2015 - CTV: Hyeonseo Lee LIVE on CANADA TV

Inside North Korea: Defector casts light on culture of fear. Hyeonseo Lee LIVE on Canadian TV CTV.

July 13, 2015 - ARD - Flucht aus Nordkorea

Hyeonseo Lee on German TV. Hyeonseo Lee wuchs in Nordkorea auf, floh als Teenager nach China und lebt jetzt in Seoul. Die 35-jährige Menschenrechtsaktivistin erzählt, wie sie den Fängen der Kim-Diktatur entkam und ein neues Leben begann.

July 11, 2015 - FOCUS: Der Hölle entkommen

Hyeonseo Lee in an interview with the German magazine "FOCUS". Title "Der Hölle entkommen" (Leaving Hell).


Hyeonseo Lee in an interview with the German magazine "STERN". Title: "Ausflug ohne Heimkehr" (A trip with no return")

July 9, 2015 - MAXI: Lohn der Angst

Hyeonseo Lee in an interview with the German magazine MAXI. Title: "Lohn der Angst"

July 2, 2015 - BBC on Breakfast - Live Interview on TV - The Girl with Seven Names

Hyeonseo Lee live on BBC on Breakfast about her life in North Korea and her book "The Girl with Seven Names".

July 2, 2015 - BBC Arts: Steel-plated survivor: How Hyeonseo Lee escaped the horrors of North Korea

First-hand accounts of perilous defections from brutal dictatorships aren’t supposed to be funny. But Hyeonseo Lee’s pioneering memoir The Girl With Seven Names contains great humour alongside its shocking evocation of the North Korean regime’s surveillance, torture, privation and propaganda.


HYEONSEO LEE - North Korean Defectors Recount Ordeals.

A handful of North Korean defectors are publishing their memoirs this summer. Among the harrowing accounts is ‘The Girl With Seven Names,’ by Hyeonseo Lee, who walked out of the country when she was 17

June 22, 2015 - GLAMOUR INSPIRED - Meet the Brave Woman Who Risked Everything to Escape North Korea


Hyeonseo Lee escaped from North Korea - home to one of the most repressive governments in the world - when she was just 17. Then she risked her life to get her family out. You won’t forget her story.

June 22, 2015 - THE TIMES - I saw my first execution at seven years old - and I still live in fear of my life


Hyeonseo Lee defected from North Korea in 1997 and is now determined to tell the world about the brutality of the regime.

May 19, 2015 - CNN: Hyeonseo Lee on CNN

Defector: We were told South Koreans were starving.

May 11, 2015 - NHK WORLD Tokyo: Out of the Shadows


Some of South Korea’s newest residents are talking about a past they once kept secret. They’re defectors from the North. Some struggle to adapt to their new lives. Others have suffered prejudice. They felt compelled to keep quiet about their origins. But now, more and more people are opening up and even speaking on TV shows.

April 10, 2015: - CNN-OutFront-Interview with Hyeonseo Lee by Erin Burnett


For a CNN Special on North- and Southkorea, CNN-OutFront Star-Reporter Erin Burnett interviewd Hyeonseo Lee LIVE in Seoul.

Watch the Interview HERE.

February 5, 2015 - New York Times - NORTH KOREAN TRUTHS

An article written by Hyeonseo Lee at the New York Times.

"Don’t lie about your story. The truth is powerful enough."

November 6, 2014 - South Korea Arirang TV - Upfront


Upfront - What’s the number one concern for young North Koreans these days.

January 18, 2014 - DER BUND: Sie habe einmal geglaubt, Nordkorea sei das beste Land der Welt! (Der Bund, Switzerland)

Geschichten über Kim Il-sung waren für uns wie eine Bibel! Sie habe einmal geglaubt, Nordkorea sei das beste Land der Welt, sagt Hyeonseo Lee. Das war vor ihrer Flucht.

Ein spannendes Interview im Rahmen des Internationalen Alpensymposium 2014, Schweiz.

April 14, 2013 - CNN:Hyeonseo Lee: Why I fled North Korea

Hyeonseo Lee: When I was young, I thought my country North Korea was the best. As I saw suffering, hunger and death around me, I made my way to China.

She says she helped her family escape North Korea with the help of a stranger. North Korean people need the support of the international community

FOCUS: "Meine erste Hinrichtung sah ich im Alter von sieben" (Focus.de)

Exekutionen, Hunger und Unterdrückung: Hyeonseo Lee erfuhr das Leid in Nordkorea aus erster Hand. Um ein besseres Leben zu finden, floh sie nach China – ohne ihre Familie. Doch damit war ihr Kampf gegen die Unterdrücker in Pjöngjang nicht vorüber.

Hyeonseo Lee and Dick Stolp

SKY NEWS - Hyeonseo Lee reunited with saviour in Australia (Sky.com)

Three years after giving a North Korean girl money to help her rescue her mother and brother, Dick Stolp meets her again.

BILD: Meine Flucht aus Nordkorea (Bild.de)

Hyeonseo Lee erzählt ihre dramatische Geschichte

Sie hat geschwiegen, hat sich Jahre lang versteckt. Doch inzwischen erzählt die 31-Jährige ihre Geschichte: Das Leben in der Diktatur Nordkorea, die Flucht, die Trennung von der Familie. Der schwere Neuanfang.

Hyeonseo Lee will ihren Landsleuten Mut machen und jenen helfen, die es wagen, zu fliehen. Die TED-Talks-Website stellte Hyeonseos jüngsten Auftritt ins Internet: Es ist eine Geschichte, die ans Herz geht, die den unermesslichen Schmerz des kleinen Mädchens nur erahnen lässt.

The Most Riveting TED Talk Ever (Oprah.com)

In which Hyeonseo Lee recounts escaping from North Korea at age 14, sneaking back over the border to smuggle her family out, the Chinese police boarding their bus, and—oh, just go watch the whole amazing video yourself!

DAILY MAIL: I saw my first execution at seven (Dailymail.co.uk)

  • Hyeonseo Lee grew up devoted to North Korea and its Kim regime
  • But after a family friend died of starvation she became desperate to escape
  • Risked her life for a decade as refugee in China but made it to South Korea
  • Returned to the North to smuggle her relatives out of the pariah state