The Hard Road Out


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About the Author

Today, Jihyun Park is the Outreach and Project Officer at the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea. Park was the Outreach and Project Office at the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea, and is an online Language tutor and Human Rights Activist.

Seh-Lynn Chai lives with her family in London but still spends considerable time in Seoul, where her parents reside. A South Korean diplomat's daughter, Seh-lynn was born and raised from an early age in Korea, France and West Africa. Her first career was at JPMorgan before she became a writer. Seh-lynn has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in French Literature from L'Universite Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). She finished her PhD coursework at New York University before completing an MBA at Columbia Business School in 1994.


A Washington Post noteworthy book ‘I am still reeling. … How does one person carry so much — the pain of a family lost and life destroyed, and the joy and challenge of a new family and a new life in such an unfamiliar place?’ Financial Times ‘A gripping, suspenseful and cathartic memoir that tells a story of pain and perseverance and makes the moral case for asylum.’ David Lammy MP ‘A moving and insightful account of how tyrannical governance can squeeze all the joy and almost all the humanity out of its subjects and drain them of any power to revolt.’ Geoffrey Robertson KC ‘Extraordinary. … Elegantly written, reflective, wise, sad and at times almost unbearably painful.’ Marcel Theroux ‘Park’s story is shocking and a testament to her resilience.’ The Telegraph ‘The brave, tender, and intimate narrative provides a frank and balanced view of the reality of life under a dictatorship.’ Kirkus ‘A compelling and well-written account of life inside (and outside of) North Korea. Moving without being sentimental, comprehensive but never dry.’ Daniel Tudor, author of North Korea Confidential ‘An incredible story of survival and escape that provides tremendous insight … Anyone who wants to understand North Korea and be inspired by the strength of a true survivor must read this book.’ War on the Rocks ‘Courage and sacrifice befall few. Jihyun is one of those few. This fascinating and shocking book allows us to stand with Jihyun and others like her.’ Lord David Alton, Chairman of the British-DPRK All-Party Parliamentary Group ‘A riveting story of pain, suffering, starvation, betrayal, abandonment, and ultimately redemption. This deeply personal tale offers profound insights on human nature and the inhumanity of the North Korean state. Jihyun Park’s courage is a true inspiration.’ Professor Sung-Yoon Lee, author of The Sister

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