The story of Yeonmi Park is one that borders the function of disbelief. One look at Park and you wouldn’t believe that the slight woman was capable of surviving much of anything. However, the true story behind her large and doll like eyes would break people twice her size. Yeonmi Park is a defector from North Korea and now she is becoming a rallying cry for advocates of human rights and the suspension of all human trafficking in the world. Park released on Amazon her entire tale of survival in her new, and only, book “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.”
It’s hard to really fathom the sort of life that North Korean citizens are forced to endure in their home country. Citizens of the West can’t really understand living under a government that will kill at will anyone whom they dislike with no real fear of repercussion. The North Korean citizens have been under the thumb of their ruling regime for so many years that it feels impossible to fight back. That is the world that Park grew up in: one where you could be killed for any violation that the government saw fit to hand out.
When Park’s father was dragged off to a labor camp she was forced to flee the country with her mother in tow. Park was only 13 at the time of their mad flight across the Yalu River and it was really just the beginning of the nightmare that was to become their life. Park and her mother were smuggled by a human trafficker into China where they were subsequently sold to the highest bidder. Park survived years as a child slave before escaping across the Gobi Desert and into Mongolia. Now Park is one of the loudest advocates against human trafficking in the world. Her speech videos on YouTube has now millions of views and continues to captivate more hearts.