Beginning with her emergence from North Korea back in March of 2007, Yeonmi Park, crossed the Yalu River along with her mother in the middle of the night only to arrive in China with no plan and no money. Park didn’t understand what freedom was or how to navigate it and her story is documented in her new book: In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom.

At the age of thirteen, Yeonmi Park would navigate China for a number of years, attempting to find food and places to live. Her travels took her through the Gobi desert, across the Mongolian border and she ended up in South Korea. With exceptional courage and strength, this young girl tolerated physical abuse, starvation and so much more. While her father did make it across the border a few years later, he unfortunately passed away before he could truly appreciate or understand the freedom that Park had found.

Unfortunately, Park has dealt with some critics since opening up about her story. A video has been created in an attempt to discredit her story. Vilifying Park and her mother, Park Yeon Mi, The Puppet of the Human Rights Plot makes the claim that these two travelers were simply spies from the United States. Park simply insists upon her story and the truth that she lived. She does admit to changing certain names and details of her story in order to protect other family members who are still living in North Korea at this time, but the basis of her story is completely true. She had originally chosen to leave out details such as the sexual abuse and rape that the faced when she was thirteen, but she insists that was simply to protect herself from the shame that could come along with that admission. Yeonmi Park treks on, spreading her story and telling the truth that cannot be silenced.


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