Yeonmi Park has done what few people can understand without having lived through her experience: she escaped North Korea and found her way to freedom. Yeonmi Park is one of the most popular defectors of the oppressive North Korea according to the New York Times and now she is steadily gaining ground as a human rights activist with a global reach. Park’s story is both captivating and harrowing and now it is captured on paper with the book, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.”
Raised in destitute North Korea under the thumb of the North Korean regime, Park quickly learned that suffering was the norm. Park was taught by her parents to avoid giving any reason for the government to look closely at her. DailyMail Uk explains that this meant that she was raised believing that spies lived in every inch of the city, even among the flowers and the bugs. As a young girl Park would see neighbors and friends pulled from their home in order to be executed in the street. Starvation was the norm and suffering was expected. Somehow this was survivable until Park’s father was dragged off to a labor camp where he would die of cancer.
Park and her mother would end up fleeing North Korea with the aid of a human trafficker. However, their smuggler would turn on Park and her mother and soon the pair would be sold into human trafficking. For the next several years Park would struggle to survive, edging close to completely giving up, before finding an opportunity to escape. Now Park is using her journey, told through her book, to rally people around the fight against human trafficking and the oppressive North Korean regime. With her voice in the fray more people are learning just what citizens of North Korea have had to endure.