Yeonmi Park has captivated people all across the world with her harrowing tale of survival. Park was only thirteen, when she and her mother escaped North Korea by crossing the Yalu River into China. From there, they went on a dangerous journey to South Korea that lasted years. Yeonmi and her mother were forced to endure violence, rape, and constant fear of death during their fight for freedom. Shortly after their escape, Yeonmi’s father joined them. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to experience what they’d tried so hard to achieve and died from untreated colon cancer before they had arrived to their destination. Before young Yeonmi and her mother were able to escape North Korea, her older sister Eunmi had left to escape on her own. During their travel to South Korea they attempted to find Eunmi, but were unsuccessful. They believed they would never see her again.
After arriving in South Korea, Park began to speak publicly about her life in North Korea. In April 2014, South Korean intelligence informed the Parks that they’d found Eunmi and were reunited.
Yeonmi Park has since written her own memoir, Amazon best selling book titled “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.” But, not everyone believes Park’s harrowing tale. Pyongyang has even made a video that attempts to discredit parts of her story. It discussed in an article published by Reason.com, Yeonmi Park’s North Korean Defector Story. But, she says any inconsistences are because of her grasp of the English language. One thing is certain, it takes a very brave woman to survive what she has and to speak openly about it.