Through the Eyes of Yeonmi Park

Being able to learn more about the world requires more than just reading up basic information on it. It also means sometimes seeing things from a different perspective, as one Yeonmi Park of North Korea can attest to.

Yeonmi Park, a well renowed human rights activist, is a shining example of seeing the world from another point of view, in her case being as one from the inside of North Korea. Recently, Park published her own autobiography entitled “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom,” where she opens up about her own personal life experiences there. She discusses her early life and how she was considered privileged but eventually learned about the true reality of the regime led by dictator Kim Jong-Il. On multiple occasions, she also goes into detail about how brutal and oppressive the government can be, as her family found out at one point. This, coupled with learning about what lies outside the borders on the low, is what prompted her to make the move to escape North Korea and get a true sense of freedom.

Yeonmi Park‘s own life began with her being born in the Hyesan district of North Korea to a fairly wealthy family. Her mother was a nurse for the North Korean Army and her father was a civil servant for the North Korean Workers Party at the town hall. Although the family was privileged at first, they began to face some struggles as Park grew older, a notable example being when her father was arrested and imprisoned after being accused of illegal insider trading. It wasn’t until she first watched a pirated movie that she, along with the rest of her family, decided to make the daring move to escape North Korea. With the help of some human traffickers, the family successfully left the country through China and briefly settled in Mongolia, before eventually making it to South Korea and beginning to start a new life there. Her father was unable to complete the journey, due to being diagnosed with and eventually succumbing to colon cancer much earlier.



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