At the age of 13, South Korean defector and human rights activist Yeonmi Park underwent a grueling ordeal that could have broken her. It didn’t. In fact, the ordeal made her stronger. The details of the harrowing events and her struggle for freedom are revealed in her recently released book, In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom.
Growing up in North Korea, Yeonmi told the New York Times that she never knew freedom existed. For the most part, struggling was all she knew. Even though her father was a government worker, she often went without food. The harsh and brutal dictatorship of Kim Jung Il crushed anyone who dared to raise a whisper against him. No one questioned his authority. The graveyard is full of those who did.
Yeonmi’s father was convicted of smuggling and sent to a harsh work camp. This, along with the horrible conditions in North Korea, made the decision to escape an easy one. The escape, however, came with terrible consequences: Yeonmi’s father died of cancer before he could enjoy freedom.
Amazon released book, In Order To Live chronicles how Yeonmi and her family lived under Kim Jung Il’s harsh regime. Everything is forbidden and citizens are forced to exist without things most people in other countries take for granite.
During Yeonmi and her mother’s harsh journey, they were under the control of brutal human traffickers and forced to elude Kim Jung Il’s army. After finding freedom, Yeonmi decided to devote her time and voice to the plight of others. She is a highly-sought-after speaker and lecturer and one of the most outspoken critics of oppressed societies.