Yeonmi Park; Freedom Activist
Yeonmi Park, 22 years, author of the Amazon best selling novel “In order to live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”. Park escaped to China with her mother when she was only 13 years from the oppressive regime in North Korea. Getting a decent meal in North Korea was tough since the living standards under the leadership of Kim Jong-Il were poor. People were starving, and citizens were doing anything to survive. After arriving in China, Yeonmi Park faced the loss of her father while in China. He died from untreated cancer just after crossing the border to join with his family. They later had to proceed to Mongolia border not forgetting the hardships of crossing the Gobi Desert that they had to overcome. They luckily found a flight to South Korea.
Park and her mother have been alleged by Pyongyang to be agents of the USA in a lengthy video discrediting some parts of the story. Critics have also emerged as some people have had doubts about her story. However, Park insists that the story is very real, and the few changed stories are to protect the family members still in the North Korea. She has been embarrassed to say that she was almost raped as it’s traumatizing. In some instances, Yeonmi’s mother had to stand out for her instead as a trafficker, who helped them escape turned on them after crossing the border. Moreover, Park is not sufficiently good in English so some of her misstatements can apparently be connected to her poor command in English.
In a New York Times interview Park said, “I know the truth about North Korea”. “The oppression and the tragedy in North Korea cannot be silenced” she added. There are many refugees all over the world running away from human rights abuses and political persecutions. Park describes how she could feed on grasshoppers, dragonflies and flowers back in North Korea as cookbooks don’t exist in North Korea. Park says that only limited TV and Radio channels are allowed in North Korea. Inhabitants live in fear since those who report something negative receive penalties.