Category Archives: Activists

North Korea’s Youthful Defector

It is a common occurrence for those opposing the government to find themselves in an awkward situation where they could not trace back how they got in, at the first place. For instance, discrimination and cultural differences have lead to the fall of many countries upheavals. Besides, there are some who did not like the situation in their countries, hence making adjustments on how they will establish a new way of life. The brave ones have championed for the formation of the human rights groups that would offer support to other people’s lives. An example of such a person is Yeonmi Park, who is a renowned defector and human rights activist. At only 21, she has managed to prove her country wrong in matters relating to human rights affairs.

Due to political instability in North Korea, Park, and her parents fled to seek refuge in a foreign country. As she grew up, she believed that the North Korean leader was a god who could even read her thinking capability. She had an assurance that anyone who talked negatively about the leadership practice of North Korea would eventually die. Park spent fifteen years in her motherland and the years have been a critical part of her energy to bring salvation of human rights to the country. She later quoted saying that while in North Korea; she could never imagine that some countries offered all rights to their citizens.

Yeonmi once narrated her story on youngvoicesadvocates indicating that living in North Korea was extremely difficult for her family. They experienced all the characteristics of underdeveloped countries that included; poor means of transportation, constant power outages, and a very untidy. Despite all the suffering and continued torment, she was forced into worshiping the authorities, for there was no other option at the time. She was terrified by the way that people could disappear and never be seen again. It was like one day she would disappear too. In one of her speeches, she goes forward to explain how her classmate’s mother was punished publicly in an execution that she attended.

Yeonmi father used to work in a North Korean government where everything seemed okay until when he was arrested for illegal trade. He was jailed and offered hard labor, and it destabilized the family. After a short period, she stopped going to study in her enrolled university and opted to travel to Pyongyang and fled to China.

On getting to China, she realized that North Korean refugees are unrecognizable and had to seek job opportunities to support her life. On the same note, her mother managed to get a job as a dishwasher. She once told her congregation that there were times when she had to pretend that she could not speak for fear of being recognized as a North Korean defector.

Park is now focused on her course and believes that her opinion was right when she opted to move out of North Korea. Most of her family is in North Korea, and they have been kept under close surveillance by the government.