Yeonmi Park, author of Amazon released: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, began her journey in North Korea on March 21, 2007. She was thirteen years old and was starting a long, harrowing expedition that would take her through the Gobi desert, across China and along the Mongolian border before traveling by plane to South Korea.
Yeonmi says that she didn’t know what freedom was, or what the concept of the word even meant. The happiest thing she experienced was simply having food to eat. Yeonmi’s journey took great strength during which she was subjected to starvation, thoughts of suicide and continuous abuse. During this journey, Yeonmi lost her father to untreated cancer. She said that he died without knowing what kind of democracy existed in America.
Yeonmi Park‘s story has fascinated thousands of readers and put her in a spotlight around the world but some have wondered how much of her story is actually true. Critics have claimed to have found discrepancies of Yeonmi’s story about her native country. Park Yeon Mi, The Puppet of the Human Rights Plot, claims that Yeonmi and her mother were agents of the United States and others have accused Yeonmi of lying.
Yeonmi claims that certain details of her story were changed to protect family members that still resided in North Korea and other details have simply remained hidden due to shame. North Korean refugees face many problems and depend on verifiable stories to undermine their human rights abuse and political persecution. Yeonmi says that she knows the truth of North Korea and the oppression and the tragedy cannot be silenced. For more information on Yeonmi Park, click here.