Yeonmi Park is a defector from North Korea who has been lucky enough to escape a life of utter turmoil. A life no one could ever even imagine. Poverty and Famine,Human trafficking and Prostitution are only a few of the cruelties she had to undertake and this book is her truth. “In Order to Live” is Park’s autobiography of a time where she had grown up in North Korea under the leader Kim Jong-il. She talks about how living in the totalitarian country of North Korea was brutal and dangerous.
At the age of 13 she and her mother defected to China. But,China was still not her freedom. There she suffered even more and was separated from her mother and taken by gangsters and druglords to endure years of a human trafficking ring and forced marriages. Yeonmi was passed around from different men and sexually assaulted by all of them in her quest to find peace and freedom and to be reunited with her family. Later Park’s was reunited with her family as they fled the guards and crossed the Gobi dessert to real freedom.
Yeonmi Park is studying criminal Justice in South Korea and is working as an activist for people like her and for human rights. She has spoken at the One Young World summit in Dublin and at the UN Human Rights session in North Korea where she has took her stand against cruelty. Yeonmi Park shared on the guardian.com that she continues to speak out on various topics concerning North Korea and other Countries on media outlets so that she can bring awareness to the ever increasing human cruelty going on around the world. She has many views and knowledge and speaks from the heart to be so young.
“In Order to Live” was written by Park in order to remember her full ordeal. Before it had been written, this young girl had blocked many horrific things out of her mind. It wasn’t until she was writing it did she feel the true memory behind all that she had gone through.Her mother and other family members had helped her recall some of those harmful memories to finish the book. This family has suffered so much trauma, Now that the book is complete they can all start to heal.
Yeonmi Park talks of a time when her children and grand children will come to read her book and what would they think of it? She stated that “To Me, it was surrendering everything-my privacy,my dignity as a woman who wants to be a normal person.” She also talks about the ordeals of other family members being similar to her own and the importance of having family today.
Today Yeonmi worries if the Kim regime will harm her family for speaking out against North Korea. She also still has a problem with food,hoping to one day finally recover and be free from that as well.
If you would like to read more about Yeonmi Park’s book “In Order to Live”publication on guestofguest.com you can see it here