Yeonmi Park stands by her story


Yeonmi Park is standing by her story of escaping the harsh life she led in North Korea as she continues to speak out against that country’s human rights violation and oppression. A story in Reason.Com notes the North Korean government is trying to discredit her story with a video, but Park is not backing down.

She said she didn’t know what freedom was when she lived in North Korea, and didn’t really even understand the concept. She and her mother left Korea one night in 2007 when she was 13, crossing a frozen river into China. Yeonmi Park’s story is also outlined in a book she has released that tells her story. After escaping into China she and her mother walked across the Gobi Desert and they made their way to Mongolia and then to South Korea to freedom.

She said many people are suffering in North Korea. There is not much food. She said she didn’t realize how much food there is in the world. If she had the food that is thrown away in America, she would not have escaped. She also talks about the harshness of the North Korean regime, and remembers seeing a woman executed in public for a minor infraction.

Park said she was raped at the age of 13, and abused during her travels. At one point she was sold to a man, and eventually escaped that as well. Her father eventually joined them in China, but died from cancer soon after that. She said she could not mourn publicly when he died.

While there may be some discrepancies in her story, as noted by the North Koreans and even other defectors, Park said on that she will continue with her efforts. She said she changed some things to protect family still in North Korea, and she said translation issues may have also caused some misunderstandings. She said she was ashamed to admit she had been raped at first when telling her story as well. Her story has captivated a lot of people as she travels around the United States, Canada, and in Europe, telling her story.