The story of Yeonmi Park has been in and out of the news since she was a speaker at the One Young World Summit in 2014. Park told her story to the world and the world listened. However, some of the world doubted. Some previous North Korean defectors have stated that there are holes in her story. The North Korean government released a video stating that she is a puppet for the US. Others have stated that Park fabricated aspects of her story, such as being raped or being kept a slave. Yeonmi Park has addressed all of the accusations on NK News. Park says that she kept much of her story a secret because the embarrassment being raped would cause her and her family.
Yeonmi Park is now 21 and escaped North Korea when she was only 13 years old. Yeonmi Park has recently released a book on Amazon, “In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”, that tells of her journey. It began after her father was arrested and her parents saw a need for escaping the country. Yeonmi’s 16 year old sister, Eunmi, escaped first. The next day, Yeonmi and her mother followed. They had to cross the frozen Yalu River in the middle of the night. When they reached China, their guide sold Yeonmi’s mother and kept Yeonmi as a mistress.
Eventually Yeonmi’s mother was brought back and her father was also brought to be with them. Yeonmi’s family escaped China through the Gobi Desert and into Mongolia, where they were then taken to South Korea. Unfortunately, Yeonmi’s father died from cancer only two months after escaping. In South Korea, Yeonmi’s family was reunited with her sister and they began to try and live a normal life.
Yeonmi, after finishing high school and realizing that she could make a difference in the world with her story, started sharing what had happened to her with others. Yeonmi’s goal is for people to know what is going on in the country she was born in.
To get the full story, go here: https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story.