There is a reason that most of the civilized world doesn’t know a ton about North Korea. North Korea, led by their oppressive regime, is one of the most introverted and oppressed nations on the face of the planet. Yet, occasionally a citizen like Yeonmi Park will escape from her countries imprisonment and have the courage to take a stand for the people that were left behind. Doing so, of course, puts a target on the backs of people like Yeonmi Park and immediately their very humanity is called into question, as reported by Reason. Yeonmi Park had never meant to become a human rights activist but great people tend to stumble over their destiny without even realizing it. Park had grown up in North Korea until the age of 12. Through her early years she learned to always be aware of the world around her, but in a negative way. She was raised in a world of paranoia, fear, and oppression. Women dressed only as they were told, nobody was allowed to even sing, and openly expressing your thoughts and ideas could lead to death — an outcome that Yeonmi had seen firsthand when her neighbor was executed in the street. At age 12 Park’s father was hauled off to a forced labor camp and the resulting fallout had Yeonmi and her mother fleeing the country, as noted in the book “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”. Yeonmi and her mother would take up with a Chinese human trafficker and they would make their way out of the country. The human trafficker would go on to turn on Yeonmi and her mother, sexually abusing them before selling the pair into slavery. What followed was years of imprisonment as they were bandied about various human trafficking rings. Eventually Yeonmi was able to escape thanks to a daring, and exhausting, escape across the desert. Yeonmi would find her way to America and eventually to a podium at the Youtube’s One Young World Summit. It was there that Yeonmi would become a voice for the oppressed and a true human rights activist, much to North Korea’s chagrin.
“In Order To Live” is a young girl’s tale of the experiences she had to undergo to know the true meaning of freedom. There are many stories written in history books about different countries. Indeed, several cover the North Korean story. However, there is nothing more enlightening than a personal story in a victim’s words.
Yeonmi Park has been in the media many a times telling her story and the atrocities facing the North Korean people, but in her book “In Order To Live” she reveals details never told before. The book sheds light into the darkest corners of the ongoing situation in North Korea. It is a story of deceit and betrayal in the most inhumane ways known to man.
North Korea is the only remaining true dictatorship. Details of the regime are quite scarce and books like “In Order to Live” are an enlightening to the rest of the world and a blessing in disguise to the people of North Korea. Secretly, these people wish someone could tell their story, and that is what this book does.
Yeonmi Park does not shy away from telling the world about all the crimes against humanity taking place in North Korea. From starvation and diseases to inhumane conditions in prison labor camps, the list is simply endless. The majority of people are too scared to come out and speak while others are brainwashed and made to believe that the oppressive dictator can know what they are thinking. “In Order to Live” is a story of grief and horror. In Yeonmi Park’s public talks, Yeonmi keeps some details to herself, but in an effort to free herself from her past, she gives all details of her harrowing experience in the book.
Yeonmi Park was born in 1993, in Hyesan, North Korea. From a tender age, she did not know the meaning of life neither did she have the slightest clue on amazon.com what life meant. She was born to a prisoner, and at only 13 years, she had to flee her motherland. This was her only chance of survival. The escape itself was not as easy as they had to cross a patrolled border into China, risking death.
When in China, Yeonmi Park came face to face with pure human evil. Thinking she had left the worst behind, she had to endure human trafficking and slavery. At one time, she subjected herself to slavery so that her master could buy her parents as well and reunite them as a family. Life was not getting any easier, and soon she lost her father to cancer. Yeonmi decided slavery was not her life and with her mother in tow, they crossed the Gobi desert into South Korea.
In South Korea, Yeonmi found a safe haven to start over. She is currently a junior student at Dongguk University in Seoul. In a bid to liberate her people, Park has become a Human Rights activist. Her full story is in her book, “In Order to Live.”