Human Rights activist Yeonmi Park has a new book coming out soon that is going to be of particular interest to people who have long wondered what goes in the closed society of North Korea. Park has captured a lot of attention in the last year as she’s told her story of leaving North Korea and what happened to her afterwards as a refugee. Audiences have been riveted by her tales during her speeches and now she’s recounting all the details in her new book, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.” The book is sure to shed more light on the subject of North Korea refugees.
The book goes into detail about what actually happened to Park when she left the borders of North Korea behind. Most people are unaware that refugees from that regime must travel through China via human traffickers while the government of the People’s Republic of China seek to capture them and return them to North Korea. Once they have been sent back, they face unspeakable punishment for their escapes. During that time, she became aware that refugees were essentially forgotten people who were in between two worlds.
Park’s family was fairly well-to-do when she was young. Her father became embroiled in a business scandal, which hurt their esteem. At some point, he broke through the programming he had received his whole life and became critical of the ruling elite. He decided to take his family from North Korea so they could have a better life. Unfortunately, that meant escaping the country via a human trafficking network that moved people through China and into Mongolia. After seeking asylum, there they could eventually relocate to South Korea. What Park learned was that not only was the entire journey arduous, refugees got no support at any point during their journey. Even when they landed in South Korea, they found that many residents of that country looked down on them and thought of them as brainwashed bumpkins.
Park stated on The Guardian that she doesn’t think she can do much to influence the regime of North Korea to change or step down. Instead, she’s decided to lend her persuasive powers to try to help the perception of refugees once they’ve left the country. Most people are completely unaware of all aspects of what it means to live in North Korea and to leave it. Refugees always face discrimination and harsh conditions. In the case of former North Koreans, the transition is even tougher because of how they were conditioned.