If you were born and raised in North Korea you would understand what it is like to fundamentally lack a voice in the affairs of your government. More importantly, you would lack a voice in your day-to-day life which would lead to the systematic oppression that the people of North Korea have faced for the past 100 years or so. Yeonmi Park, a young North Korean defector, has gained a national voice and now she is changing the tone on human rights activism in one of the most secretive and oppressive countries on Earth, according to Reason.com.
Yeonmi Park escaped North Korea in 2007 when she made her way across the Yalu River alongside her moth and a man who promised to traffick them both to safety. Of course the reason for their terrifying night escape was even bigger, scarier. Yeonmi’s father had been imprisoned and sent to a labor camp and her sister had simply vanished. It was no longer safe for Park and her mother to live in North Korea. So they spirited away with a shady human trafficker, making for China and purported freedom.
While Park would eventually find freedom she would do so only years later, after a long and arduous life in China as a victim of human trafficking. Park was subsequently betrayed by the man that helped her flee North Korea and she was sold as a ‘child bride’ in China. For years Park languished until she was able to escape in the dead of night across the Gobi desert on foot, finding freedom in Mongolia and eventually South Korea.
While her tale is unbelievable it is very much rooted in truth and the human spirit. Park never intended to become a global commentator on human activism but she has found her way to that place regardless. Yeonmi Park has released her first book on Amazon, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”, and there you can learn about her tale in all of its detail. Pyongyang is so alarmed by the value of her story that they are already launching expansive smear campaigns against the young woman.