Yeonmi Park is a human rights activist who defected from her native country North Korea. This country is recognized for its brutal, repressive and secretive leadership where citizens are denied their basic freedom. Park’s family was wealthy since both her parents were public servants when she was growing up. Later, her father ventured into business but was arrested by the authority for allegedly participating in illegal trading. He was convicted and sent to jail and subjected to forced labor which later affected his health. During this time, Park’s family struggled and her mother decided they should flee and seek freedom elsewhere.
Park and her mother left North Korea in 2007, when she was 13 year old. The guards were positioned along the China boarder with orders to shoot those who were fleeing. Park and her mother were assisted by someone to cross the river, but this was just the beginning of their journey to freedom. After crossing into China, they encountered human traffickers who were negotiating the price they would be sold. Park could not imagine how the traffickers were negotiating their price in front of them. Due to her father’s poor health, he was released from prison but was diagnosed with colon cancer and he died later.
After continued suffering in China, Park and her mother decided to leave this country and seek freedom in another peaceful country. In a group of five people, they decided to cross Gobi Desert in order to seek freedom and live with dignity like other people. They were accommodated by missionaries who assist illegal immigrants from North Korea and relocate them to South Korea. At South Korea, she was able to enjoy freedom and also continued with her education.
Park of yeonmi.net joined fellow human rights activists from her Native country in order to discredit its leaders and their leadership style because of their mysterious acts. According to Park, there are about 24 million people who live under extreme poverty as a result of dictatorship of Kim Jong Un who has been leading North Korea for more than 30 years. Yeonmi Park points out that people are categorized into certain classes where they are what to do. There was no freedom to do what anyone wanted. When her father was imprisoned, she was classified as the daughter of a prisoner who had no future.
As a result of the suffering and struggle she was subjected to, Yeonmi Park is not afraid to say the truth. She was encouraged by another human rights activist Hannah Song who is the CEO of the LiNK (Liberty in North Korea). In recent days, several North Korean citizens are fleeing to China so as to seek freedom and run away oppressive regime of North Korea. Yeonmi Park turned 22 recently has been working with other human rights activists to advocate for freedom back at their home country. Park has published a book that talks about her journey to freedom. She has been traveling to different parts across the world to advocate for freedom in North Korea.