In her new book, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, Yeonmi Park narrates how she managed to escape from one of the most cruel and repressive regimes in North Korea. Her brave story of survival is what has elevated her status as a leading human activist. In the book, Yeonmi details the horrifying escape through China, where she risked coming face to face with smugglers and human traffickers.
The book is a vivid narration of the plight of the people of North Korea who have struggled and suffered under the harsh regime. However horrifying the story is, it is still an inspiration. Yeonmi’s determination and hopes for a better future will resonate well with many readers. In the end, it makes you grateful for the freedom you already have.
Park was born and raised by civil servants in Hyesan, North Korea. She grew up at a time when everybody did and said only what the regime allowed them to. Even the tiniest of mistakes like watching a foreign movie could land you into great trouble. The regime was basically controlling every aspect of their daily life.
Life in North Korea was a bit better up until Yeonmi’s father got arrested for smuggling. Beyond that point, life was simply unbearable. Food had become scarce and they were now in the blink of starvation. This is when they made the big decision to escape North Korea. After escaping through china in a journey of hardship and struggle, Yeonmi and her mother finally made it to South Korea. Today, Park is the voice for those struggling for freedom not only in North Korea but also the rest of the world.
Park has become an influence and an inspiration to many people around the world. She has spoken in many forums including TEDx, the Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin. She also wrote for the Washington Post, and has had many interviews around the world including an interview with The Guardian. As an activist, Yeonmi of nytimes has volunteered to work in many programs like Freedom Factory Corporation.
Yeonmi’s new book could be summed up as a story about resilience of the human spirit. It is also a story of love and how it can help you overcome the worst of horrors and the most difficult troubles that life throws at you. Nothing is impossible when we train ourselves to love.