Yeonmi Park is a North Korean human who was born in the countryside of Pyongyang. Her life came down crushing when the dictatorial government arrested her father and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Her father was a civil servant but who involved himself in the illegal business of selling metal to China. Some of the minerals he was involved in a trade with were gold, silver, nickel and many others that rubbed shoulders of his government the wrong way. In North Korea, a prison sentence to a member of a family spells doom to the rest of the family as they get subjected to humiliation, torture and other inhuman acts up to the third generation. That means that a sentence to a parent makes the life he the nest three generation including the grandchildren. Yeonmi Park was not different which makes her case even sadder.
Yeonmi Park life changed for the worst when her mother was taken away for three years for questioning and interrogation. She was only nine then and together with her sister aged nine years old had to sort the refuge of the mountains where they survived by eating from the gutter. She learned to fend for herself at this tender age as she had no one to look after her but her eleven-year-old sister.
Fortunately for her, her mother was released from prison, and her father miraculously bribed his way out of prison to seek treatment for an aggravated colon cancer. As a family, they decided to look for ways to get out of North Korea but little did they know that her sister had already secretly made up her mind to escape Korea together with a friend. Their escape journey to China is an admirable one. They had to cross several mountains and a frozen river to get to China in a society that was full of backstabbers and fear of getting arrested. She will forever remember an event that forever changed her life. A man found out that they wanted to escape and reported the act to the police. The police responded by threatening to rape her. Her mother being a mother offered herself to protect her young daughter. Yeonmi Park of youngvoicesadvocates witnessed her mother being raped in front of her eyes. This horror experience is would forever embed itself in her memory.
As fate would have it, her father passed away while in exile in China leaving her a destitute. Yeonmi Park is an inspiration to modern-day activists. She found herself in South Korea where her mother works in restaurants, and she has since become activists. She developed a liking for English and with the help of watching TV programs like friends. Yeonmi Park leads a low-profile life as she is still fearful of her old life catching up with her. It’s not uncommon for defectors getting assassinated even in other countries. Despite her tender age, she has been very vocal on letting the world know happening is happening in the world.