Yeonmi Park Tries to Set the Record Straight

In an article written by Todd Krainin that was published on reason.com titled “Yeonmi Park’s North Korean Defector Story,” Todd briefly describes Yeonmi’s escape from North Korea which she wrote about in her recently released book In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom. At the age of 13, she escaped North Korea with her mother in the middle of the night and crossed the Yalu River into China. This was the beginning of a long trek that would take her across China, through the Gobi Desert and eventually to the Mongolian boarder. Along the way she was sexually abused, suffered from starvation and considered suicide. She would eventually be reunited with her father and then finally make it to freedom in South Korea. Yeonmi’s story has received a lot of attention, and she has become a popular international human rights figure. This attention has attracted some detractors, and the North Korean government is actively trying to discredit her story. They believe Yeonmi and her mother are agents of the US and have produced a video on NK News trying to prove their point. Other Yeonmi critics have pointed out discrepancies and inaccuracies in her story, yet this does not detract from numerous other stories from North Korean defectors who share similar events. Yeonmi insists she knows the truth of her story and what is happening in North Korea. She knows that any exaggeration of her story could undermine the entire struggle of the whole North Korean defector community who only have their credibility to rely on. Yeonmi does not want to be silenced in discussing the oppression that is occurring in her home country. Todd Krainin’s article can be found at https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story.

Yeonmi Park Tries to Set the Record Straight