Defected To Freedom

Have you watched the 1997 version of the film Titanic? Did it change your life? How about your world views? Or, perhaps, the way you see your government? That’s exactly what it did for Yeonmi Park. She saw a pirated DVD of the movie and says that her views of the Kim Dynasty changed afterwards. That’s not the only major change this young North Korean “Defector” has endured. Ms Park has had a very eventful life in her 22 years. Park’s family was wealthy, during her childhood, by North Korean standards. However, after her father was imprisoned, her mother struggled to provide for her and her sister. Once released, Park’s fathered urged them to flee North Korea. Through trail after trail Park suffered. She was separated from her sister. She was forced to watch as her mother offered herself to be raped in place of her daughter. Her father died and Park was not even able to give her father a funeral for fear they would be discovered and sent back to North Korea. She was almost forced to make the choice of death over being deported back to North Korea.
Park Yeonmi has lived a life that we couldn’t even imagine. She has been through more suffering than many of us could hope to endure, and she has come through it fighting. She is now a prominent activist, both for Freedom in North Korea and for victims of human trafficking. She has written and spoken about her story. She recently published a book, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.”
Park is known as the “Celebrity Defector” and has said that Kim Jong-un hates her and what she is doing. The feeling, I can confidently say, is mutual. She do not just believe that Kim Jong-un is a cruel dictator, but a terrible person who toys with his people and should be severely punished for crimes against humanity. Ms Yeon-mi is working tirelessly to do her part in influencing North Korea to become a better place. Somewhere people would be glad to call home. Rather than a place people are to scared to leave because they would be shot if discovered. Yet, if they stay they would be living under the rule of someone who has shown that he cares little for his people and is more than happy to let them die, starving, in the streets.
Park Yeonmi still believes there is hope for North Korea, for her home. She thinks that if North Korea could just adjust, as some of the other communist countries, they can, once again, become a place where people have Freedom and can choose to live their life’s in the way that is meaningful to them.
That is Park Yeonmi’s dream for North Korea.