Category Archives: Human Rights Activist

Yeonmi Park: From the Grip of Terror to the Sweet Embrace of Freedom

On November 13, 2015, Todd Krainin of Reason.TV interviewed a young North Korean woman named Yeonmi Park. Miss Park recounted her harrowing escape from the oppressive regime of the Kim family. Miss Park has written a book documenting her experience titled; In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

In the Dailymail interview, Yeonmi talks about not having the concept of what freedom was. She mentions that her father died without knowing democracy existed in the world. During her life in North Korea, she claims to have defined happiness as having enough food to eat.

The story of her escape begins with tentative steps across the Yalu River in the cold March weather in 2007. Making it across the river with her mother put her in China. She was thirteen years old, confused and scared, and just beginning a scary and arduous trek across China to the Mongolian Border. The trip took years to complete, but finally, Yeonmi and her mother reached the safety of South Korea.

During one of the most moving parts of the interview, she talks about seeing Chinese movies and advertisements featuring obese children. Miss Parks thought she would like to go to a place where they had enough food to make children fat.

At the same part of the interview, she talks about seeing the dead bodies of people, including children, on the streets of North Korea. Famine was so widespread that many people starved to death.

In past interviews, Yeonmi talks about some of the frightening criminals encountered during her journey. At one point she was trafficked by Chinese gangsters who ran forced marriage and prostitution rackets.

Without question, this young woman has been through a lifetime of terrifying experiences in her short years. After finding her way to freedom, she has dedicated herself to learning and fighting for universal human rights. She does; however, admit to a desire to help change one country in particular.

To see the whole interview follow this link: https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story