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TED2013

Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea

イ・ヒョンソ : 北朝鮮からの脱出

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北朝鮮での幼少時代、『ここは地球上最高の国』と信じていたイ・ヒョンソだったが、90年代の大飢饉に接してその考えに疑問を抱き始める。14歳で脱北、その後中国で素性を隠しながらの生活が始まる。 これは、必死で毎日を生き延びてきた彼女の悲惨な日々とその先に見えた希望の物語。そして、北朝鮮から遠く離れても、なお常に危険に脅かされ続ける同朋達への力強いメッセージが込められている。

- Activist
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thoght her country was the "best on the planet." It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 17-years-old to begin a life in hiding as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope -- and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind. Full bio

When I was little,
まだ小さかったとき
00:16
I thought my country was the best on the planet,
自分の国は地球上で最高だと信じていました
00:17
and I grew up singing a song called "Nothing To Envy."
「われらに羨むものなど何もない」
という歌を歌って育ちました
00:20
And I was very proud.
とても誇らしい気分でした
00:24
In school, we spent a lot of time
学校では多くの時間を割いて
00:26
studying the history of Kim Il-Sung,
金日成の功績を学習しましたが
00:28
but we never learned much about the outside world,
国外について学ぶ機会は殆どなく
00:30
except that America, South Korea, Japan are the enemies.
単に 米国 韓国 日本は我々の
敵だと教えられました
00:34
Although I often wondered about the outside world,
しばしば外の世界を想像しましたが
00:39
I thought I would spend my entire life in North Korea,
この国に一生住むと思っていました
00:42
until everything suddenly changed.
しかし ある日を境に全てが変わりました
00:46
When I was seven years old, I saw my first public execution,
7歳のとき初めて公開処刑を目撃しました
00:50
but I thought my life in North Korea was normal.
それでも私の生活は普通だと思っていました
00:55
My family was not poor,
当時 私の家族は貧しくなく
00:58
and myself, I had never experienced hunger.
私自身は飢餓を経験していません
01:00
But one day, in 1995, my mom brought home a letter
1995年のある日 母が手紙を持ち帰りました
01:04
from a coworker's sister.
同僚の妹からの手紙でした
01:08
It read, "When you read this, all five family members
書いてあったのは―
“この手紙が届くころ我々家族5人は
01:10
will not exist in this world,
この世には いないことでしょう
01:15
because we haven't eaten for the past two weeks.
最後に食べたのは2週間前でした
01:18
We are lying on the floor together,
今は皆 床でただじっと横になり
01:22
and our bodies are so weak we are ready to die."
衰弱しきって死を待つだけです”
01:25
I was so shocked.
本当にショックでした
01:33
This was the first time I heard
初めて知ったのです
01:37
that people in my country were suffering.
飢餓に苦しむ人が私の国にいるなんて
01:39
Soon after, when I was walking past a train station,
その後すぐ ある駅を通りました
01:43
I saw something terrible
痛ましい姿を見ました
01:46
that I can't erase from my memory.
今でも記憶から拭い去れません
01:48
A lifeless woman was lying on the ground,
それは息絶えた一人の女性でした
01:52
while an emaciated child in her arms
痩せ細った子供がその腕に抱かれたまま
01:55
just stared helplessly at his mother's face.
なす術もなく母親の顔を
覗きこんでいました
01:58
But nobody helped them, because they were so focused
誰も助けようとはしませんでした
02:02
on taking care of themselves and their families.
自分と家族を守るのに精一杯なのです
02:07
A huge famine hit North Korea in the mid-1990s.
90年代半ば深刻な飢饉が北朝鮮を襲いました
02:11
Ultimately, more than a million North Koreans
最終的には百万人以上が死亡し
02:15
died during the famine, and many only survived
生き残った人の多くは飢えをしのぐため
02:18
by eating grass, bugs and tree bark.
草や 虫 木の皮を口にしました
02:21
Power outages also became more and more frequent,
停電も頻繁に起きるようになり
02:27
so everything around me was completely dark at night
夜は真っ暗闇に包まれました
02:30
except for the sea of lights in China,
中国側の煌々とした灯りが見えました
02:35
just across the river from my home.
私の家の川向こうは中国でした
02:37
I always wondered why they had lights but we didn't.
なぜ向こう側は明るいのに
こちら側は暗いのか常に不思議でした
02:40
This is a satellite picture showing North Korea at night
これは 夜の北朝鮮をとらえた衛星写真です
02:45
compared to neighbors.
隣国と比較して見ることができます
02:49
This is the Amrok River,
この川は鴨緑江(アムノッカン)です
02:53
which serves as a part of the border
北朝鮮と中国の
02:55
between North Korea and China.
国境線になっています
02:57
As you can see, the river can be very narrow
ご覧の通り川幅が狭い地点が数か所あり
03:00
at certain points, allowing North Koreans to secretly cross.
北朝鮮の人々が密かに越境しようとします
03:02
But many die.
しかし多くは命を落とします
03:08
Sometimes, I saw dead bodies floating down the river.
死体が流れていくのを何度か見ました
03:10
I can't reveal many details [about] how I left North Korea,
私が北朝鮮を脱出した経過を
詳しくは話せません
03:17
but I only can say that during the ugly years of the famine
とにかく何年も飢饉が続いた時期に
03:22
I was sent to China to live with distant relatives.
私は中国に住む遠戚の元に送られたのです
03:27
But I only thought
家族と離れて暮らすのは
03:32
that I would be separated from my family for a short time.
ほんの短い間だけだと思っていました
03:34
I could have never imagined
まさか家族と再会するのに
03:38
that it would take 14 years to live together.
14年も要するとは想像しませんでした
03:40
In China, it was hard living as a young girl without my family.
家族から離れた子供が中国で
暮らすのは過酷なことでした
03:44
I had no idea what life was going to be like
どんな生活が脱北者を待ち受けているか
03:48
as a North Korean refugee,
全く見当がつきませんでした
03:52
but I soon learned it's not only extremely difficult,
しかし すぐ気づきました
生活は極めて過酷で
03:54
it's also very dangerous,
なおかつ非常に危険なものでした
03:57
since North Korean refugees are considered in China
なぜならば中国では脱北者は
04:00
as illegal migrants.
不法移民として扱われるからです
04:05
So I was living in constant fear
常に恐怖と隣り合わせの生活でした
04:08
that my identity could be revealed,
自分の身元が明らかになると
04:10
and I would be repatriated to a horrible fate
北朝鮮に送還されて恐ろしい運命が
04:12
back in North Korea.
待っているのでした
04:16
One day, my worst nightmare came true,
そんなある日 最も恐れていたことが
起こりました
04:18
when I was caught by the Chinese police
私は中国の警察に捕えられ
04:21
and brought to the police station for interrogation.
尋問のため警察署に連行されたのです
04:24
Someone had accused me of being North Korean,
私が北朝鮮人だと通報を受けた警察は
04:28
so they tested my Chinese language abilities
私の中国語能力をテストしました
04:31
and asked me tons of questions.
膨大な質問を浴びせられ
04:35
I was so scared,
あまりの恐怖に
04:38
I thought my heart was going to explode.
心臓が破裂しそうでした
04:41
If anything seemed unnatural, I could be imprisoned
もし少しでも疑いがあれば拘束され
04:44
and repatriated.
強制送還されたことでしょう
04:47
I thought my life was over,
もう おしまいだと思いました
04:49
but I managed to control all the emotions inside me
それでも全ての感情を何とか押さえて
04:52
and answer the questions.
質問に回答しました
04:55
After they finished questioning me,
そして全ての質問が終了すると
04:57
one official said to another,
係官の一人が言ったのです
04:59
"This was a false report.
“この通報は誤りだ
05:01
She's not North Korean."
彼女は北朝鮮人ではない”
05:03
And they let me go. It was a miracle.
その結果 私は解放されました
奇跡でした
05:05
Some North Koreans in China seek asylum
中国内の脱北者が亡命を求めて
05:09
in foreign embassies,
外国の大使館に駆け込もうとします
05:12
but many can be caught by the Chinese police
多くは中国警察に拘束され
05:15
and repatriated.
強制送還されます
05:18
These girls were so lucky.
この写真の少女達は大変幸運でした
05:19
Even though they were caught,
一旦 拘束されたものの
05:22
they were eventually released
最終的には解放されました
05:23
after heavy international pressure.
国際社会の圧力が効いたのです
05:25
These North Koreans were not so lucky.
この人々は運がありませんでした
05:28
Every year, countless North Koreans are caught in China
毎年 中国では無数の北朝鮮人が拘束され
05:31
and repatriated to North Korea,
強制送還されています
05:35
where they can be tortured, imprisoned
送還後には拷問 投獄 さらには
05:38
or publicly executed.
公開処刑もありえます
05:41
Even though I was really fortunate to get out,
出国できた私は本当に幸運でしたが
05:44
many other North Koreans have not been so lucky.
運に恵まれない人々も大勢います
05:47
It's tragic that North Koreans have to hide their identities
悲しいことに北朝鮮人の身元をひた隠しながら
05:50
and struggle so hard just to survive.
生き延びるだけで精一杯なのです
05:54
Even after learning a new language and getting a job,
新しい言葉を覚え 仕事を得たとしても
05:58
their whole world can be turned upside down in an instant.
一瞬にして全てが暗転しかねない人生です
06:01
That's why, after 10 years of hiding my identity,
そこで身元を隠す生活を10年続けた果てに
06:05
I decided to risk going to South Korea,
リスクを冒して韓国へ行く決心をしました
06:09
and I started a new life yet again.
またしても新しい生活を始めました
06:13
Settling down in South Korea was a lot more challenging
韓国の生活に慣れることは想像以上に
06:16
than I had expected.
困難でした
06:19
English was so important in South Korea,
韓国では英語が大変重要なので
06:22
so I had to start learning my third language.
3つ目の言語を学ぶことになりました
06:25
Also, I realized there was a wide gap
同時に大きなギャップの
存在にも気づきました
06:28
between North and South.
北と南のギャップです
06:31
We are all Korean, but inside,
同じ朝鮮民族なのに内面は
06:33
we have become very different
全く変わってしまいました
06:36
due to 67 years of division.
67年に及ぶ分断のせいです
06:37
I even went through an identity crisis.
私自身のアイデンティティに悩みました
06:41
Am I South Korean or North Korean?
韓国の人間なのか?
北朝鮮の人間なのか?
06:45
Where am I from? Who am I?
どこの出身なのか?
自分は一体誰なのか?
06:48
Suddenly, there was no country
突如として私には
06:51
I could proudly call my own.
誇るべき母国が消えてしまったのです
06:53
Even though adjusting to life in South Korea was not easy,
韓国での生活に
順応するのは大変でしたが
06:59
I made a plan.
計画を立てました
07:03
I started studying for the university entrance exam.
大学受験のため勉強を始めたのです
07:04
Just as I was starting to get used to my new life,
新生活に慣れ始めたのも つかの間
07:07
I received a shocking phone call.
衝撃的な電話がありました
07:11
The North Korean authorities
北朝鮮当局が
07:14
intercepted some money that I sent to my family,
私が家族宛にした送金を
突き止めたのです
07:15
and, as a punishment, my family was going
私の家族は戒めに
07:18
to be forcibly removed
自宅から人里離れた場所へ
07:21
to a desolate location in the countryside.
連行されそうになりました
07:23
They had to get out quickly,
もはや脱走しかありません
07:27
so I started planning how to help them escape.
私は脱出プランを練り始めました
07:29
North Koreans have to travel incredible distances
北朝鮮の人々が 自由に辿り着くには
07:33
on the path to freedom.
果てしなく長い旅を
しなければなりません
07:36
It's almost impossible to cross the border
韓国との国境を超えるのは
07:39
between North Korea and South Korea,
殆ど不可能です
07:42
so, ironically, I took a flight back to China
そこで皮肉にも私は中国へ戻り
07:45
and I headed toward the North Korean border.
そこから北朝鮮との
国境へ向かいました
07:48
Since my family couldn't speak Chinese,
私の家族は中国語を話せないので
07:52
I had to guide them,
私の助けが必要でした
07:55
somehow, through more than 2,000 miles in China
中国では3千キロ以上の距離を移動し
07:57
and then into Southeast Asia.
やがて東南アジアに入りました
08:01
The journey by bus took one week,
バスの移動は1週間かかり
08:04
and we were almost caught several times.
途中 何度も拘束されかけました
08:06
One time, our bus was stopped
一度バスが止められて
08:09
and boarded by a Chinese police officer.
中国の警察官が乗車してきました
08:12
He took everyone's I.D. cards,
全員の身分証明書を取り上げて
08:17
and he started asking them questions.
尋問を始めました
08:19
Since my family couldn't understand Chinese,
私の家族は中国語が話せないので
08:21
I thought my family was going to be arrested.
逮捕されてしまう と思いました
08:25
As the Chinese officer approached my family,
私の家族の番になったとき
08:29
I impulsively stood up, and I told him
私は咄嗟に立ち上がって言いました
08:32
that these are deaf and dumb people
“この人たちは耳が不自由です
08:34
that I was chaperoning.
自分は付き添い人です”
08:37
He looked at me suspiciously,
警察官は疑わしげに私を見ましたが
08:39
but luckily he believed me.
幸運にも私の話を信じてくれました
08:42
We made it all the way to the border of Laos,
やっとラオス国境まで
辿りついたのですが
08:45
but I had to spend almost all my money
ラオスの国境警備兵に賄賂として
08:49
to bribe the border guards in Laos.
所持金のほぼ全てを払いました
08:53
But even after we got past the border,
それなのに国境を通過したら
08:56
my family was arrested and jailed
私の家族は逮捕され拘留されました
08:59
for illegal border crossing.
違法に国境を越えた というのです
09:02
After I paid the fine and bribe,
罰金とさらに賄賂を払って
09:04
my family was released in one month,
1ヶ月後にようやく解放されました
09:06
but soon after, my family was arrested and jailed again
ところが すぐに再拘留されました
09:10
in the capital of Laos.
ラオスの首都でのことです
09:14
This was one of the lowest points in my life.
私の人生で最悪の瞬間でした
09:16
I did everything to get my family to freedom,
私は家族の自由のために
あらゆることをしたのに
09:21
and we came so close,
あとほんの 少しというところで
09:26
but my family was thrown in jail
拘留されてしまったのです
09:29
just a short distance from the South Korean embassy.
韓国大使館までは目と鼻の先でした
09:31
I went back and forth between the immigration office
私は移民局と警察署の間を
09:34
and the police station,
何度も往復して
09:37
desperately trying to get my family out,
家族を釈放するために懸命でした
09:39
but I didn't have enough money
しかし罰金や賄賂を払うための
09:42
to pay a bribe or fine anymore.
お金は底をついていました
09:44
I lost all hope.
全ての望みが絶たれました
09:46
At that moment, I heard one man's voice ask me,
そのとき男性が声を掛けてきました
09:48
"What's wrong?"
“どうかしましたか?”
09:52
I was so surprised
とにかく驚きました
09:53
that a total stranger cared enough to ask.
見ず知らずの人が わざわざ声を
かけてくれたのです
09:55
In my broken English, and with a dictionary,
私が たどたどしい英語と辞書を片手に
09:59
I explained the situation, and without hesitating,
状況を説明すると男性はすかさず
10:01
the man went to the ATM
ATMに行って
10:05
and he paid the rest of the money for my family
私の家族と他に2人の北朝鮮人分の
10:07
and two other North Koreans to get out of jail.
保釈金を全て払ってくれたのです
10:10
I thanked him with all my heart, and I asked him,
私は心の底からお礼しながら尋ねました
10:14
"Why are you helping me?"
“どうして私を助けてくれるのですか?”
10:18
"I'm not helping you," he said.
男性は答えました
“あなたを助けるわけじゃない
10:20
"I'm helping the North Korean people."
北朝鮮の人々を助けているのです”
10:22
I realized that this was a symbolic moment in my life.
私の人生で象徴的な瞬間でした
10:26
The kind stranger symbolized new hope for me
この見知らぬ親切な男性は
新たな希望の象徴です
10:30
and the North Korean people when we needed it most,
それこそ私たち北朝鮮人が
今最も欲していることです
10:34
and he showed me the kindness of strangers
この男性が示した
差し伸べられる思いやり
10:37
and the support of the international community
そして国際社会の支援 これらこそ
10:40
are truly the rays of hope we North Korean people need.
北朝鮮の人々が必要とする
希望の光なのです
10:43
Eventually, after our long journey,
長い道のりを経て私たち家族は
10:48
my family and I were reunited in South Korea,
韓国で再び集うことが叶いました
10:51
but getting to freedom is only half the battle.
自由を得ても私達の戦いは続きます
10:54
Many North Koreans are separated from their families,
北朝鮮では多くの家族が離れ離れになり
10:58
and when they arrive in a new country,
たとえ新たな国にたどり着いても
11:01
they start with little or no money.
生活を始めるお金は殆ど
あるいは全くありません
11:04
So we can benefit from the international community
国際社会からの支援はとても有益で
11:08
for education, English language training,
教育や英語の習得
11:11
job training, and more.
職業訓練などに役立ちます
11:14
We can also act as a bridge
私たちは北朝鮮内の人々と
11:16
between the people inside North Korea
外の世界を結ぶ
11:18
and the outside world,
橋渡し役を担えます
11:20
because many of us stay in contact
私たちは北朝鮮にいる
11:22
with family members still inside,
家族と連絡を取り続けており
11:25
and we send information and money
情報や資金を提供して
11:28
that is helping to change North Korea from inside.
北朝鮮が内側から変革する
活動をしています
11:30
I've been so lucky, received so much help
私は本当に幸運でした
たくさんの支援と
11:35
and inspiration in my life,
励ましを頂きました
11:38
so I want to help give aspiring North Koreans
今度は私自身が北朝鮮の同胞を
11:40
a chance to prosper
国際社会の支援を受けながら
11:43
with international support.
励まし続けたいと思います
11:46
I'm confident that you will see more and more
さらに多くの北朝鮮の人々が
世界中で活躍することを
11:49
North Koreans succeeding all over the world,
私は確信しています
11:51
including the TED stage.
きっとこのTEDの舞台でも
11:54
Thank you.
御清聴ありがとうございました
11:57
(Applause)
(拍手)
11:59
Translated by Ayako Oka
Reviewed by Akira Kan

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About the speaker:

Hyeonseo Lee - Activist
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thoght her country was the "best on the planet." It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 17-years-old to begin a life in hiding as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope -- and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.

Why you should listen

 

Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in 1997. In 2008, when she was 28-years-old, she came to Seoul, South Korea, where she struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city. North Korean defectors often have a hard time in South Korea, she noted in the Wall Street Journal: "We defectors have to start from scratch. Prejudice against North Koreans and icy stares were other obstacles that were hard to cope with."
 
Now a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, she has become an advocate for fellow refugees, even helping close relatives leave North Korea after they were targeted. Her dream? As she told the Korea Times, she'd like to work at the UN or an NGO that advocates for the human rights of North Koreans, including their right to be treated as political refugees.

She has a new book called The Girl with Seven Names.

More profile about the speaker
Hyeonseo Lee | Speaker | TED.com