Yeonmi Park, a woman who knows true fear has recently published a book about her life as a North Korean defector. This book is called In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom and tells the story of the hardship that her and her family had to endure just for Yeonmi Park to get to where she is in present day.
North Korea current has around 10,000 defectors each year which is growing in number thanks to dedicated human rights activists such as Yeonmi Park. Despite her hardship, North Korea is still determined to both discredit Ms. Park as well as her fellow defectors. It is not uncommon for North Korea to send mercenaries with the mission of covering up loose ends.
North Korea, despite being a smaller country in total isolation, is one of the most powerful countries in the world with the world’s fifth largest army and with the ability to create a nuclear war. Thanks to all the North Korean testimonies of this oppressive regime, even the United Nations have begun to take action to unravel this dictatorship that has killed so many.
Thanks to defectors like Yeonmi Park, North Koreans have begun to give their side of their stories. Yeonmi Park, in her book, goes into detail of the hardship that her and her family had to endure in order to eventually escape North Korea. North Korea is known for being an isolated country which is why Ms. Park’s father was arrested for selling metals to the Chinese. Before Mr. Park’s father was thrown into a labor camp, her family was well-respected, however, proceeding this event, Ms. Park and her mother were subjected to isolation and starvation.
This hardship is what forced Yeonmi Park and her mother to pay off the guard on one of the North Korean borders and to flee the country. Following her and her mother escaping North Korea, the pair had to then endure crossing the Gobi Dessert as well as being subjects to human tracking.
Yeonmi Park is not the first defector to speak against this oppressive regime. It took over 300 hundred North Korean testimonies to convince the United Nations that action must be taken to either stop this regime or to aid North Korean defectors in their escape from the borders.
Despite her youth, Yeonmi Park has aided thousands of people on The Guardian within the last few years. Ms. Park hopes that her book will bring courage for more and more North Koreans to speak out against North Korea.