Hyeonseo Lee was born in 1980 in North Korea, a country she thought was the best on the planet’ until she witnessed great suffering and starvation.
At the age of 17, she left her family behind and escaped alone to China. Hiding her identity for ten years, her life in China was far from easy and she eventually decided to flee for South Korea.
There she faced further challenges when the authorities initially didn’t believe she was North Korean. Some time later she returned to China where she met her family and travelled to Laos in order to bring them to join her in South Korea. However the family were caught and imprisoned in Laos until an Australian backpacker helped pay for their release.
Hyeonseo is the author of an acclaimed book, the Girl with Seven Names, and her TED talk has reached well over 10 million people. While still struggling to adapt to her new freedoms, she travels extensively sharing her story and telling the world about what is happening in North Korea.
About the podcast
The Love and Courage podcast features interviews with inspirational people who are making a real difference in the world today. Guests are typically people passionate about social justice, and who have demonstrated courage and conviction in their lives.
Host Ruairí McKiernan is leading Irish social innovator, campaigner, writer and public speaker. He is the founder of the pioneering SpunOut.ie youth organization, and helped set-up the Uplift and the A Lust For Life non-profits. In 2012 the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins appointed Ruairí to the Council of State, a national constitutional advisory body whose members include all current and former leaders of the country. Ruairí is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Fulbright fellowship, and he contributes regularly to the media on youth, health, community and social justice issues.
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