North Korean defector Jihyun Park hopes to make history as Tory candidate in local elections
A North Korean defector is hoping to make history when she stands as a Conservative candidate in the UK’s local elections in May.
If she were to win in Moorside, which is a marginal ward, she would become the first known North Korean defector to hold political office outside Korea.
The 52-year-old escaped again and arrived in the UK in 2008 without being able to speak any English, but quickly settled into her new life with the help of the surrounding community, which she said gave her "lots of opportunities" and "happiness".
She told Sky News her ambition to become a local councillor was partly so she could "help residents" and because she wanted to "pay back" people who had given her fresh opportunities.
She admitted that she still has "horrible dreams" about North Korea and her experiences there, but is also passionate about human rights issues because of the "many poisonous people" around the world.
On her campaign page, she wrote that "now the UK is my home", she is not just going to accept "people’s kindness" but will also "support others going through difficult situations".
The full official candidate list for Moorside has not been published, but the area is currently represented by Labour councillors Sarah Southworth and Sandra Walmsley, and independent Annette McKay.