North Korean Defector Says Berry’s Flag Protest Is “Unthinkable”

Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector, and human rights activist, made remarks about how Olympic athlete Gwen Berry turned her back when the U.S. National Anthem played.

U.S. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry faced mounting criticism for turning away during the U.S. National Anthem after the track and field trials. 

Critics are throwing shots at the “activist athlete.” They’re saying that Berry represents the United States of America in the Olympics and not just herself. Critics also questioned why Berry would want to represent the U.S., a country that she believes to be “racist.”

Park: if she acted the same way as Berry did, she would be executed

In an interview on Fox & Friends with Brian Kilmeade, Yeonmi Park, a North Korea defector and a human rights activist, described Berry’s actions as “unthinkable.”

Park mentioned that if she acted the same way as Berry did in North Korea, not only would she be executed, but eight generations of her family would also be sent to a prison camp and be executed. 

In an interview with Black News Channel, Berry responded to the rising backlash; Berry says that she does not hate the United States, but rather she has an issue with the U.S. National Anthem itself. 

Berry mentioned that the third paragraph of the National Anthem talks to slaves in the U.S. and slaves being slain. She added that it is disrespectful if you are aware of your history and know the full song, adding that the national anthem did not speak for black Americans. 

Park said she was a slave that was sold in China at 13 years old

Park answered back to Berry’s justifications, saying that she was a slave. Park added that she was even sold in China back in 2007, at 13 years old.

Park also mentioned that in Noth Korea, people actually call slavery under the Chinese Communist Party. She added that there is an actual injustice happening. 

The North Korean defector then threw criticism at Berry, saying Berry complaint about the United States, the most tolerant country, show she does not understand history. 

Park then compared the ongoing oppression in America and North Korea. She later called Berry “spoiled” based on the freedom that she experiences in the United States. 

Park mentioned that the people in North Korea who are actually oppressed are not even aware they were oppressed. Therefore, the fact that Berry is complaining about systemic racism and oppression, she does not see how privileged she is. 

Park, who was sold as a slave at 13 years old, also mentioned that at this moment, there are people who are dying to come to the U.S.

Park added that she hopes that the likes of Berry could see North Korea and China to know what oppression really looks like. Then, Berry would understand the value of freedom that is in America.