Yeonmi Park is a human rights activist. She is famous for bringing attention to the dire situations of the people who are residing within the confines of the state of North Korea. Park is also a voice for the thousands of North Korean defectors, escapees who through sheer luck or determination have managed to escape the world’s most oppressive country and make it out alive to freedom.
Park’s autobiography called In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom recounts Yeonmi’s life in North Korea. It describes the daily struggles for food a-midst a famine, the brainwashing of children to believing that their supreme leader is a god, and the propaganda aimed at vilifying the west and glorifying the regime of North Korea as all mighty and infallible. Yeonmi Park’s biography is truly an inside look of the life and mind of a North Korean citizen.
Surprisingly, there are even some good times in North Korea describes Yeonmi Kim. She even came to see some Western movies such as the Titanic, although this was all done through the black market. If anybody was caught with Western movies or books there could be swift and harsh reprimands. That is how brutal and oppressive the regime in North Korea is.
Yeonmi describes on The Reason that before she escaped North Korea she had no meaning of the concept of individual freedom. It just does not exist in North Korea where the government controls your life from birth to death. After escaping from North Korea in 2007, hiding out in China for years and managing to make it safety in South Korea through Mongolia Park has felt compelled to share her story through her autobiography.
Her book has come under attack from the North Korean government, who claim that she is an undercover agent for United States. This is a ludicrous attempt to discredit Park’s descriptions of North Korea and the dire situations there. Non-North Korean critics have pointed out errors and inaccuracies in her book. Yeonmi Park has said on dailymail.com taht errors were due to a poor grip of the English language, and the inability to share events at the time of writing the book due to feelings of shame and fear. Reason.com has more info, on Park’s book and the critics’ remarks about her autobiography.