In her book, In Order to Live: A North Korean’s Girl Journey to Freedom, Yeonmi Park relives the horror of growing up in North Korea. Park came from a loving family, but the dictatorship in North Korean brainwashed children early in life. Park believed that dictator Kim Jong II could read her mind, so every move she made was closely watched by the government. Yeonmi would go for days without food and that convinced her that she was at the mercy of a merciless government that tortured, belittled and shamed their citizens into submission.
Yeonmi Park’s book is the story of her journey to escape the agony she lived with every day and the cruel treatment she endured in order to escape. The book has opened the eyes of thousands of people that never took the time to understand the amount of pain and suffering that is part of daily life in North Korea.
Yeonmi’s story on youtube.com is not unusual for a young girl in North Korea, but the choices she made are very unusual. Her father was trading in the black market and got caught by the government and thrown in jail. One of the black market products he acquired was a video of the movie “Titanic.” Yeonmi watched the movie and it hit a nerve. She realized her life was completely different than life in other parts of the world. She didn’t call it freedom back then because the word free had no meaning in North Korea.
What Yeonmi Park on amazon did feel was restriction and she wanted to be released from that feeling. Her sister, Eunmi, felt the same and decided to escape from North Korea a few days before Yeonmi and her mother escaped.
Park and her mother did escape with the help of human traffickers. The women endure physical and psychological trauma as they crossed the Gobi desert with their new captors. Yeonmi and her mother stayed strong and two later they cross the border into South Korea. Park now dedicates her life to human rights and her book explains why. Her book explains the abuse and complete lack of human dignity that exists in North Korea and she says she will never stop telling the story.