Y U So Mad?

Yeonmi Park Says North Korea Is A Land With No Words For Love


Imagine your entire life being dictated, without question. Back in November, 2015 Reason.com told the harrowing story of Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector who escaped across China. Yeonmi and her family braved the border guards and fled to China. Just thirteen years old, Yeonmi began her trek with her family, across the Yalu River, continuing through the Gobi desert. It took them more than a year to truly be free.
As a child, growing up in North Korea, Yeonmi Park witnessed how special forces abused the citizens under the paranoid atmosphere of Kim dictatorships. Some of her testimonies have been passed on to the UN investigation before the Panel published its damning report on the situation of human rights in North Korea. Many reports from defectors have been too difficult to verify by the UN, because of access to the country, yet all defectors tell the same stories.

Park’s full triumphant story is now published. Her autobiography tells of famine-stricken childhoods, North China gangsters running forced marriages, her family’s travel across the Gobi desert before reaching their freedom, and the post-traumatic stress many suffer. Yeonmi says on a New York Times interview that she never believed she suffered from post-traumatic stress. Yeonmi points out, “Until I started to write the book, I just turned off my mind. I could not even remember what had happened,” and “I really hope that this book is the light on the darkest place in the world.”

In her Amazon released autobiography, Yeonmi also tells how North Korean people risk penalities to watch banned DVD movies. “Special police search regularly the houses of people, and when they find films, individuals are sent to a labor camp, or a public trial and then execute as a deterrent,” said Park.

Yeonmi has been an advocate for human rights, and the story of her North Korean defection has captivated the world, as well as opening our eyes to North Korean atrocities.


Yeonmi Park: A Story Of Captivity and Freedom


When individuals hear the story of Yeonmi Park, it’s something just like a movie. But, in truth life is sometimes stranger than fiction. And Park has lived an extraordinary life beyond her 21 years. Her tale of brutality and escape from North Korea is an amazing one, and now one she want to share with the rest of the world. Her various speaking engagements includes some of the largest human rights groups and social activists organizations in the world, such as TED and others.

Park begins her story as a child living in North Korea. She was living in a middle-class home, with both her parents employed as government workers. Her father, a high-ranking official for the countries Workers Party was well-to-do. Her mother was gainfully employed by the state as well, working as a nurse for the North Korean army. Park remembers that she lived a happy and carefree life, free from any worry or distress. She did not understand the government that she was living under was one of the strictest and most controlling governments on the planet.

Her earliest recollection of the brutality of the state occurred when she witnessed the brutal beating of one of her mother’s friends at the hands of police. It was only then that she understood that her government was not as benevolent as she once thought. She received a revelation about love and kindness when she viewed a bootleg copy of the movie “Titanic.” The movie made her understand that there was more to live for than the state. In the movie, she witnessed two people fall in love and die for each other for love. It gave her a new perspective upon servitude, and from that point on, she looked at her government with different eyes.

Years later, the family was relocated to another part of North Korea, one less prosperous than the one that they were accustomed to living in. Soon, the relocation took its toll, and the family found themselves running out of resources, including food. Park’s father, not wanted his family to starve, began to sell precious metals in the black markets, an illegal activity. Soon, government officials got word of his activities, and jailed him for his crimes. He spent many years in jail, working hard labor, until he became too sick to continue his sentence. The state released him to go home and die with his family.

While at home, he came up with a plan to escape from North Korea with his family. He wanted nothing more than for his family to taste freedom. After coming up with a plan, he said his family on their journey. However, he himself was too sick to make the journey himself, and stayed behind. Soon after, he succumbed to his sickness and passed away in North Korea.

The road to freedom was a long one for Park and her family. Eventually, Park and her family endured many trials to get to freedom. Park now speaks around the world about not only life in North Korea, but the two years they spent captive and the hands of Chinese smugglers.

Yeonmi Park has inspired many people on youngvoicesadvocates and speaks of on human rights in those situations, and she has spoken all over the world. She continues to lecture about her ordeal, and has released a book with Penguin Press. Park has seen many things, and through her speaking engagements, she hopes to enlighten people so that individuals will never have to go through what she went through.