Yeonmi Park is a beautiful girl born in the city of Hyesan in North Korea. The official name for the country is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Led by Kim Jong-un as the supreme leader, North Korea tries to pride itself as a self-sufficient socialist country that even conducts elections. This is a fact that many people do not see truth in due to many stories of the people there striving to survive the many problems around them such as hunger among other problems.
The story of Yeonmi Park is a touching one as she seeks to shed light on the many hardships she has had to go through in search of freedom. She was first born in an era of great famine and since that moment, she has had to cope with many trying situations just to survive. The leader at the time was Kim Jong the second who enjoyed almost the same status with God. He had the complete loyalty from everything in the country including trees and animals.
Yeonmi’s father had been a good servant in his country working for the government. His love for his family, however, led to his demise. Since his family was starving, the man of the house decided to smuggle metal to raise some cash to feed them. Almost everyone would go to such lengths to feed their own but in North Korea, it is not such a good idea. Yeonmi’s father was arrested and sentenced to seventeen years in prison where he suffered and became sick from the torture. Their family status was also lowered to the periphery of society. They now had to make a choice, leave the country to give themselves another chance or stay back and perish.
Eunmi, who was the elder sister to Yeonmi, decided to flee the country heading to the north. Yeonmi was only thirteen years of age at the time. She flees with her mother heading to China hoping for the best. It, however, turned sour upon entering China where they were sold off to men. At one point Yeonmi’s mother had to submit herself to a man to prevent her daughter from being raped.
Their dad rejoined them in China but died later due to colon cancer. They were finally able to reach Mongolia from where they were taken to Seoul. Her sister joined the two years later. Today, Yeonmi is an activist for human rights, publicly speaking for international media like the News York Times and also taking a course in criminal justice. At least things turned out right in the end. More info posted on the Reason.com website.