Yeonmi Park did not leave North Korea for freedom; she had no idea of the meaning of freedom. Things were so desperate; she knew that she and her family would die if they did not leave North Korea. They could die from disease or starvation. If they violate any of the rules or laws of North Korea, they could be imprisoned or executed. There was no future for Yeonmi and her family, unless they escaped from North Korea. Her book entitled, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, is the story of her survival in North Korea, and her escape to South Korea. Her book describes in detail the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea.
Yeonmi Park was born in Hyesan, North Korea. Her parents were employed as civil servants. Life was not always easy in the city of Hyesan. Yeonmi was raised in a city where everything was controlled by the government. The North Korean regime controlled every detail of their daily lives. They controlled which schools to attend, what you can say, and mind control over what you can think.
The government wanted completed control over all the citizens of North Korea, and she believes that Kim Jong Un still hates her. Minor offenses such as questioning the government, could have a lethal outcome. If anyone disobeyed the government they were often imprisoned in a work camp or executed.
Her book, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, describes in detail her escape from North Korea to South Korea. The first part of the book describes her life as one of privilege in North Korea. All was fine, until her father was caught smuggling and imprisoned for life. After her father was imprisoned life became a daily struggle, starvation was always a constant threat. Yeonmi realized the only way to survive, was to leave North Korea. Yeonmi and her family began the long arduous journey though Mongolia and China to find freedom in South Korea.