The Story of Yeonmi Park

It is a well known fact that North Korea is under an oppressive regime that have prevented the population from experiencing universal human rights. Under this particular regime, it is even illegal to leave the country to venture abroad into China or South Korea. Every years, thousands of North Koreans have decided to defect to pursue freedom that was never given in North Korea. One woman in particular Yeonmi Park, who is a North Korean defector, stated that she did not even know what freedom was. Yeonmi Park left Korea in 2007 when she crossed the frozen Yalu River with her mother. This event occurred when she was only 13 years of age. Yeonmi is a young defector that now speaks out against North Korea and has involved herself with several organizations to try and assist fellow North Korean Defectors. Yeonmi Park has recently sat down to discuss her story as to why she became a defector. She explains that her family was well connected and wealthy in the 90s up until the North Korean economy crashed. After the economy crash, Ms. Park’s father was forced to sell contraband to China in order to have an acceptable income to raise a family with. However, years late, Ms. Park’s father was caught and was thrown into a labor camp while his family was shunned and left to starve. Yeonmi Park explains that for this reason, her and her mother escaped the country in order to seek a new life that had more freedom. Yeonmi Park states that because she lived outside the law, she was subjected to hunger and constant abuse. Though her father joined her and her mother outside of the North Korean border, her father died months later due to untreated cancer. Yeonmi Park is dedicated to informing the public of how truly oppressive the North Korean regime is. Her goal is to have North Korean defectors speak out on Youtube to the United Nations as well as to other organizations for the purpose of spreading awareness of her cause. Ms. Park states that she will continue to fight for human rights as she experienced the lack of human rights herself.

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