Yeonmi Park Continues Her Refugee Story


The publication of Yeonmi Park’s memoir “In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom” would have been seen as the natural end to the journey she took to freedom in South Korea. Yeonmi Park took a different approach to her journey to freedom, which she has seen continue since it began in 2007 to see her become one of the most important human rights activists in the world. The 22 year old college student continues to bring publicity to the plight of her fellow refugees in the form of her writings, podcasts, public appearances, and speeches.

Yeonmi Park’s tale is detailed by and is one that acts as an inspiration to all as she has overcome a series of hurdles in life, which she has detailed in her memoir and continues to discuss in speeches. The journey of Yeonmi Park began with her family facing the problem of starvation in North Korea despite her father holding a key government position and classed as a member of the elite; the decision to sell goods on the black market in order to feed his family saw Park’s father imprisoned and the family cast to the lowest level of society. The battle to simply survive in North Korea prompted Yeonmi Park and her mother to set out to defect to South Korea and the freedom they had seen in Hollywood movies.

For almost two years the family traveled through China towards South Korea and the promise of freedom under the guidance of human traffickers who would create major problems for them on their journey. After finally arriving in South Korea in 2009 Yeonmi Park decided she would continue the fight to free her fellow North Korean’s, and fight for the rights of refugees. The decision to continue her battle with the North Korean authorities has been praised by many groups, but has brought personal attacks from Communist officials; despite these issues Park has not wavered from her desire to help others in the face of the attacks launched on her by Communist North Korean officials.