The Life of Yeonmi Park

For many times, Yeonmi Park has spoken out about the harrowing story of her life on caseyandyeaonmi since she was a young girl. In all those times, she never revealed most devastating details she encountered in a repressive society and through her journey to freedom. In her book, Park said on NKNews.org she never eaten on regular basis and was made to believe that the North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong II, could know what is in her mind. When her father was arrested and taken to a labor camp for engaging in illegal trading in order to provide for his family, Yeonmi was branded as the daughter of a prisoner. Her family was subjected to cruel acts because they were regarded as criminals like her father. In 2007, Park and her mother were smuggled into China on their way to search for freedom. She knew the journey would not be easy, but she never imagined the magnitude of the hardship they could face. Park didn’t enjoy her childhood while in China and to some extent her life was in danger. She has told her entire story in her book that was released recently entitled ‘In Order to Live’. Yeonmi Park was born in 1993 in North Korea in a town called Hyesan where her father worked as a civil servant in that town. In her early years, her family was privileged but they later struggled when her father was arrested. After crossing into China, Park and her mother were assisted by missionaries from China and South Korea and taken in the port city of Qingdao in China. At this city, they evaded the attention of authorities due to the large Korean citizens in that city. The missionaries assisted Park and her mother and they fled to South Korea where there was freedom. Park and her mother were able to find jobs in South Korea although they encountered some challenges in adjusting to new environment. Park was able to proceed with her education at a university in Seoul. Park joined other North Korean activists and defectors who were advocating for freedom back in their Native country.