For those who have learned her story well, Yeonmi Park has stood as an advocate for personal freedom for many years now. Yeonmi Park’s journey has now been chronicled in a new Amazon released book entitled In Order to Live: a North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom. Even at the ripe old age of 13, Park seen many things that an individual simply should not see, and she chronicles her experiences for the first time in this new work. North Korea was truly a brutal and repressive regime, and so she discusses the hideous life she had in the country and how she had to make some very hard decisions while she was growing. Her family was very close knit, but she had to live in constant fear because of the propaganda. Many people in the country believe that Kim Jong Il can read their minds, so the suicide rate is extremely high.
In chronicling her escape, Yeonmi Park tells on NY Times those interested that she simply had no sense of what the freedom really meant. She said, for her, the best thing in the world was simply having enough food. Although it would take many years for her to finally reach a decision to flee with her family from the country, the turning point came when her father was jailed for trading on the black market in order to provide for his family. Thus, her and her family decided to cross a frozen river in the middle of the midnight darkness in order to begin a harrowing journey across China. She would eventually reach safety in the United States but it would take a number of years to do so.
The freedom that we all take for granted is something that Yeonmi Park had to make tremendous sacrifices for. She even lost her dear father after he died from untreated cancer and was not able to join her in the United States.