Yeonmi park is a brave 21 year old North Korean immigrant with a tormented early childhood. She was born in a town near the North Korea-Chinese border under the repressive and totalitarian regime of Kim Jong-il. Ms. Her story was initially reported on guestofaguest.com. Ms. Park grew up at a time of great misery and disaster for the People of North Korea. She got accustomed to disease, death and despair all around her.
Yeonmi recounts how her family, just like other citizens, were denied access to food and water. She narrates how she was brainwashed by the lie that the country’s supreme leader coulde read her mind. Her father had to deal in the black market business to provide for his family. This led to his arrest, torture and his family was given the treatment of criminals and outcasts.
Life was brutal and unbearable in North Korea. At the age of 13 years Yeonmi and her protective mother had to flee the country. They were smuggled into China where things unexpectedly got worse. She lost her sister and her smugglers turned predators wanting to rape her. She was saved by her mother who volunteered to take her place. She narrates the shell shocking experience to detail. At some point she had to bury her dead father in the thick of the night, doing so in stealth to avoid detection. There was also the possibility of repartriation back to China by unfriendly Chinese authorities. They had to flee again, this time to South Korea.
Park recently launched her book; In Order to Live, in which she shares her life experience. She acknowledges the impact her family had in helping her get through the tough times. Her comparison of North Korea and the rest of the free world reveals striking differences. In her homeland, the media is state-owned, protecting the image and interests of the oppressive authorities.
Her exposure to the rest of the world has helped her develop a new sense of purpose and concern for others. She studies criminal justice. Yeonmi has become a global human rights and freedoms ambassador. In her speech at the One Young World summit in Dublin Ireland, she pleaded with the world to join her in addressing the plight of the North Korean people.
Park’s horror story has vilified the assertion that strongest force of nature is human resilience. Few human beings would be able to go through the kind of life she had and live to tell the story. She has now made it her core mission to shed light on a place she considers the darkest in the world. Yeonmi feels its important she shares her story with the rest of the world. She does so with eloquence and a great deal of emotional pain. Her efforts are paying off. Yeonmi is increasingly getting platforms to speak to the world. Earlier in the year she had a meeting with Hillary Clinton at the Women in the World summit.
For more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufhKWfPSQOw