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Outspoken Teenage Defector Becomes ‘Poisonous Mushroom' to N. Korea

"I thought Kim Jong Il was a god who could read my mind"

A 24-year-old in Chicago is an unlikely thorn in the side of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, happy to be referred to by Pyongyang as a "poisonous mushroom" and "human rights propaganda puppet," NBC News reported.

Yeonmi Park fled the country in 2007 in a harrowing journey in which she was repeatedly sexually exploited and her mother sold into marriage to a Chinese farmer. Now she has an American husband and a newborn son and speaks widely about the struggle that was her childhood.

"I thought [former ruler] Kim Jong Il was a god who could read my mind," she said. "I thought his spirit never dies, and I never thought he was a normal human being."

Seeing the blockbuster "Titanic" helped her realize that life could be different, and now she advises a group that sends USB drives that include Hollywood movies and Korean pop into North Korea by balloon.

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