The story of survival is a story that many hear about whether in newspapers, magazines, and even movies. One such survival story shows the true strength of a young Yeonmi Park. She was subjected to abuse and was living a life in constant fear and wondering when her next meal would come. No longer able to stand this, Yeonmi and her mother began a traumatic years-long journey to escape the cruelty and tragedy of North Korea when she was only thirteen-years-old. She never knew what freedom was until she took her first steps outside North Korea in March 2007. (https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story)
In her autobiography, In Order to Live, Yeonmi tells readers about her tragic childhood in North Korea where she was subjected to trafficking. While writing this book, Yeonmi mentions that she has never heard of post-traumatic stress disorder and did not think she would have it. She gathered her own thoughts and memories for her book while also drawing upon the memories and stories from her mother and others she had escaped with. At first she was hesitant to write this book because she wanted to forget these traumatic memories and move on with her life. Now, she is glad that she was able to get her story out there and can even share her story with her grandkids to show what she has been through.
Yeonmi strongly believes in the strength of family and that family is everything. Her family was what helped her stay alive and what kept her moving forward, no matter how bad the situation became. Her family is the reason why she is able to live in freedom today. Yeonmi is still adjusting to living in the free world, especially when dealing with not worrying about running out of food. She mentions that in North Korea when you are hungry, that means death. Yeonmi hopes that when people read her book, they understand that even in the darkest of times there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is really small. Yeonmi currently studying criminal justice in South Korea and is working as an activist.