Yeonmi Park’s Struggle To See All People Being Accorded Equal Rights

Yeonmi Park‘s story is touching, and it depicts a young lady who has a strong heart and character. At the tender age of thirteen, she fled the rigidly-controlled North Korea state for a place where she can live with dignity and have hope for a better tomorrow. Different with how many people from different parts of the world know of the North Korea leadership, Park knows it as the cruelest when it comes to letting people have access to fundamental human rights. As a young human rights advocate, Park has traveled many countries of the world preaching the gospel that all humans regardless of their race, skin color, religion affiliation, and any other factor should be accorded equal human rights.

Currently living in New York, she is writing a book titled In Order To Live where she describes her native country’s economic decline to have started in 1990 shortly after the Soviet Union broke apart, and Moscow reduced its friendly rate exports to North Korea. According to, her native country’s economy came to a standstill, and very big number of North Koreans died as a result of hunger and other diseases. The same period would also go into the history books as being one of the worst hunger times.

In the book, she also describes how ordinary citizens struggled to get food and water under King Jong-li dictatorship. Even in the rare event that a family got food, proper ingredients were not available, and she describes a harrowing experience where her family was forced to eat flowers, grasshoppers, dragonflies and all sorts of things.

Just like many other families during the time, Park’s family struggled a lot to survive under the conditions, and she was used to seeing dead bodies on the streets. When her father was arrested for allegedly being involved in illegal metal smuggling, her mother approached a man and persuaded him to traffick them into China. The journey was not an easy one, and it took them over the Yalu River and they had to go past guards so as to reach and get past the Chinese border.

When they reached China, the trafficker attempted to rape her and when her mother protested, he proceeded to rape her instead in front of Park. For lack of a better
place to stay, they were forced to stay in the traffickers and he raped her severally. She remembers that it was through the raping that she was first introduced to sex which remains one of her biggest nightmares up to now.

After a harrowing two years in his house, the trafficker finally let them go, and they were able to reach Mongolia safely and eventually fly to South Korea. Park is now a global speaker on all world events that touch on human rights, and she has managed to raise a lot of awareness on the current human rights situation in North Korea. On its part, the North Korea regime has termed her as a propagandist who is not loyal and should not be taken seriously.

Original link:

Leave a Reply