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Yeonmi Park’s hunger led her to escape North Korea


Yeonmi Park said she didn’t know what freedom was, must less understand the concept. Still even at age 13 she felt she had to escape the oppressive North Koren regime. She left in the dead of night in 2007 with her mother as they crossed a frozen over river and made their way into China.

This is all in her book: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom. In a story published by Reason.com, she said she didn’t even know the word freedom. She was more concerned about having food. Just having food was happiness, she wrote of her life in North Korea.

After escaping into China she and her mother walked across the Gobi desert, using the moon and stars as guides. From there she eventually made it to Mongolia, was raped and later became a mistress to a man who bought her. She eventually found freedom by getting to South Korea by airplane.

Yeonmi Park’s father joined them in China, but died shortly after that due to cancer. She said her family did not know about democracy, or realize how much food there was in the world. She said people in North Korea are always short on food. She said if she had the food that is thrown away in America, she would have never tried to escape.

Park’s story has grabbed the attention of thousands, and she often tells her story. She is becoming a voice for human rights around the world. Predictably the North Korean government is not happy. They have released a video that tries to discredit details of her story.

Park is standing by her DailyMail story though. She says the voice of truth will not be silenced. She wants the world to know about the hardships North Koreans face in the repressive regime. She responds to criticism by saying there are some language issues as she is still learning English. She said some details were also changed to protect family members still in North Korea. She also said at first she as ashamed to admit she had been raped, as reasons for some inconsistencies.

 

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