The North Korean government is one of the most serious violators of human rights on the planet. The few people that have escaped a torturous life in North Korea have told stories that send chills down the spines of people that only know the meaning of freedom. The people of North Korea have no concept of freedom, and that fact has never been explained better than by the book that was written by Yeonmi Park.
Park’s book, In order to Live: A North Korean Girl Journey To Freedom tells an incredible tale of survival, pain, abuse and finally freedom in words that are so compelling that the book is considered a must-read. The book is a must read for everyone, but especially for anyone that doesn’t believe North Korea is holding people captive using intimidation and force.
Yeonmi Park was only thirteen when she and her mother crossed North Korean borders to find a new life. Park and her mother decided to risk everything when Park’s father arranged for a group of black market traders to take them to freedom. Park’s father was arrested by North Korea for doing business with black market, and he paid for that offense with his life. Yeonmi’s sister also escape the country with a similar group of traders, but she was never heard from again.
The journey to freedom was a living nightmare for Yeonmi and her mother. Her new captors physically and mentally abused the women as they travel through the desert. Yeonmi Park describes on The Reason interview what she endured in the book, and it seems that journey was a path to another kind of death, but somehow Park found the resilience and the bravery to rise above the anguish and survive. Park and her mother made to it China, and they were able to find a South Korean embassy.
Freedom was finally a reality for the Park and her mother. One miserable journey was over, and her life as a North Korean captive was over as well. But Park said on the NY Times that she wanted to start new journey as a human rights activist, so she wrote a book and began to tell the world about the horrors of living in North Korea.