Yeonmi Park is a prominent North Korean defector who has become a well-known activist and author based in the United States.
Born in 1993 in North Korea, she escaped to China in 2007 at the age of 13 before eventually making her way to South Korea and then the U.S.
While her memoir and speeches have brought her fame, she has also faced skepticism regarding inconsistencies in her life stories.
Let’s take a look at Yeonmi Park’s background, career, personal life and net worth as of 2023.
Yeonmi Park Bio
|Full Name||Yeonmi Park|
|Date Of Birth||04 October, 1993|
|Net Worth||$1 million – $5 million USD|
|Education||Dongguk University, Barnard College, Columbia College University School of General Studies|
|Father||Park Jin Sik|
|Mother||Byeon Keun Sook|
Her Early Life in North Korea
Yeonmi Park was born in 1993 in North Korea. As a kid, her family was pretty well-off by North Korean standards since her dad worked for the government.
But during the huge famine in North Korea in the 1990s, her family lost everything. They went from being upper-middle class to facing intense poverty and hunger.
When she was 13 in 2007, Yeonmi and her mom Eunmi escaped across the border to China. It was super dangerous – they faced getting trafficked and other risks.
Some Christian missionaries helped them make it to South Korea in 2009. Her dad sadly died of cancer while they were escaping, and her sister stayed behind in North Korea.
Becoming Famous in South Korea and America
After settling in South Korea, Park started appearing on South Korean TV shows, like one called “Now On My Way to Meet You.”
She stood out among other North Korean defectors because she spoke Korean really well and had a lot of energy on camera. They even nicknamed her the “Paris Hilton of North Korea” because of her kind of elite background.
She moved to the U.S. in 2014 for college at Columbia University. In 2015, she published a bestselling memoir called “In Order to Live” about her life and escape from North Korea. This made her even more famous.
She started giving speeches about her experiences and human rights issues. She spoke at places like the One Young World Summit and even testified to the United Nations and U.S. Congress. Her goal was to raise awareness about how oppressive North Korea is.
Controversies and Political Activism
As Park got more famous, she also started speaking out more about politics and culture, taking conservative views. She criticized political correctness and “woke” culture in America.
But this led to some backlash. Other North Korean defectors and journalists pointed out inconsistencies between her speeches, books and interviews. People accused her of maybe exaggerating or making up parts of her story.
Park has defended herself against claims about her credibility. But it sparked debates about how to balance North Korean human rights advocacy and examining whether defectors’ stories are totally accurate.
Her Personal Life
In 2017, Park married a Chinese Christian named Ezekiel who she’d met while escaping to South Korea. They had a son named James in 2018.
But by 2020 they’d separated and she was going through a divorce. She hasn’t talked publicly about any new relationships since.
Overall, Park keeps her personal and family life very private. Although she went through trauma and abuse escaping North Korea as a teen, she hasn’t shared much else about past or current relationships.
Yeonmi Park’s Net Worth & Income Sources
Estimates of Yeonmi Park’s net worth range from $1 million to $5 million as of 2023. Here are some key sources contributing to her wealth:
- Book Sales – Her memoir sold over 100,000 copies and brings in royalties.
- Speeches – She earns $12,500-$17,500 for college and conference speeches.
- YouTube – Her channel with 1 million subscribers earns good ad revenue.
- Investments – She likely has invested in stocks, bonds, real estate to grow her wealth.
- Political Groups – Conservative groups like Turning Point USA pay for her speeches and appearances.
In her 20s, Park has already built significant wealth through her memoir, speeches and activism. If she keeps up her current work, her net worth will likely continue growing.
Yeonmi Park’s Height, Weight & Physical Stats
Park has a slim, petite frame standing at average height. Her weight is difficult to confirm but likely ranges from 100-115 lbs based on her small build. She has classic North Korean beauty features of big, dark eyes and straight, silky black hair.
|Height in feet||5 feet 8 inches|
|Height in cm||1.73 m|
|Weight in Kg||56 kg|
|Weight in lbs||123 lbs|
|Eye Color||Sparkling brown eyes|
|Body Measurements||32-25-34 inches|
|Shoe Size||9.5 (US)|
The Bottom Line
In a little over 10 years, Yeonmi Park has become a very high-profile North Korean defector and critic of the regime. Her dramatic life story and energetic personality have made her in demand.
But controversies over story inconsistencies have also surrounded her. As she continues her advocacy and career, managing her public image will be key.
With her fame and income already substantial in her 20s, her future net worth depends largely on maintaining her visibility and leveraging her compelling personal narrative.