To heard about hardships and struggles that other people encounter in other parts of the world is a good way of having things put into perspective. Such is the case for Yeonmi Park, a native North Korean.
Park, who is a well-known human rights activist, knows all too well what life inside the North Korean borders is truly like. She spent much of her youth in the country, not interested in freedom or even aware of what the concept of freedom was, according to her in an interview made by Daily Mail UK. Simple things such as food were what she considered to be the purest form of happiness at the time. In spite of this her story is mainly one of understanding freedom, which culminated in her family’s escape from the country into China and then settling in South Korea much later. Her story of the escape did not go unnoticed by the world, as current dictator Kim Jong-Un has gone on to produce videos on NK News that discredit the family and label them as traitors or foreign agents. Regardless, Park has continued to speak on her life and the true horrors and brutality that exist within the borders of North Korea.
In her early years, Park was born in the Hyesan district of North Korea, with her mother working as a nurse for the North Korean Army and her father was a civil servant for the Worker’s Party. Though her family was considered to be privileged at first, they began encountering hardships as time went on, a major one involving her father’s arrest for illegal insider trading activities. The event is what prompted Park’s family to try and flee the country, a daring move that happened when Park was only thirteen years old. The family did cross the border into China and were smuggled into Mongolia from there, with the aid of human traffickers and Christian missionaries. From there, after laying low for a while, the family eventually came to South Korea and started a new life there. However, Park’s father could not make the journey and passed away from colon cancer shortly before.