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Euna Lee Considers Her Time as a Prisoner in Her Talk on North Korea

 - Oct 24, 2017
References: ted & youtube
Euna Lee, a journalist and TV producer, introduces her talk on North Korea by telling her audience about how she and her team were captured during their last day of filming a documentary about the border of China. When they saw the soldiers run towards them, Lee and her colleague ran as quickly as they could back to Chinese soil, but they were not able to avoid being captured. As someone who grew up in South Korea, Lee says that she always considered North Korea to be an absolute enemy, a mindset that she says caused her to dehumanize these people as a result.

When she was in prison, Lee says that she was afforded some small kindnesses from the guards that watched over her, such as a jacket when she was cold, and a boiled egg when she went without food. As she had little trust for her captors, Lee always expected the worst, especially due to the fact that she was constantly being interrogated. After three months of detention, she was eventually sentenced to 12 years of hard labor -- however her release was negotiated later on. Lee continues her talk on North Korea by explaining the connections she formed with the female guards she later came into contact with. Through her conversations with these women, Lee learned more about their culture, and the lessons they had been taught growing up.

With her talk on North Korea, Lee shows how her time in prison allowed her to see the humanity in her enemy, and how different forms of discrimination can prevent this and cause people to fear or hate one another.