Yeonmi Park is the vocal activist that is taking the world by storm. The North Korean defector has become something of an icon thanks to her inspiring story and the way she came out of her torturous journey unbowed, unbent, and unbroken. Park is one of the latest defectors of North Korea to take up a spot in the public world in order to speak out against what she had to endure. Park summed up her journey in her first and only book, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom“. Now that the book has been released North Korean government officials have been quick to attack Park, according to Reason.com.
North Korea has a very strict way of regarding defectors. In the most violent cases, those that are at least known of, vocal defectors of North Korea have had to endure assassination attempts on their very lives. Park is risking everything by speaking out though she is safe outside of the North Korean borders where she spends time in South Korea and the United States. Now in her 20s, Park has become increasingly attacked by Pyongyang in a variety of different ways.
Pyongyang was quick to release melodramatic, edited videos that try to paint Park as a liar who is doing little more than garnering celebrity status as a ‘Celebrity Defector of the West’. NK News posits, with no evidence, that Yeonmi’s story was fabricated by the West to paint North Korea in a darker light. However, the more that Pyongyang yells about Park the less the world actually believes them. Though Yeonmi Park has had issues relating her story to Western audiences these have been problems created by a language barrier and the shame and fear that she still carries from the suffering she had to endure.
If you laid eyes on Park you would never know her steely resolve and the strength of hope that she possesses. Park is beautiful with porcelain skin and large, doll like eyes. Her timid and small voice never rises but cracks often when she tells of her story. That story can be and should be read by anyone interested in the plight of human trafficking victims around the world.