Yeonmi Park is is a twenty-one-year-old North Korean lady who is despised by her regime because of her staunch stand on matters related to human rights. One may wonder why a nuclear super power with the fifth largest army in the world has to fear from her, but the answer is precise; her strong conviction that all humans in North Korea and other parts of the world must be accorded equal and respectful treatment. The North Korean regime refers to her as a human rights puppet who can go to any extent to make foreigners happy but she refutes the claims and considers herself a voice for the voiceless and has shown the world the dark side of her native country’s regime.
Her native country is not new to making attacks on anyone who goes against the tide and speaks about its inhuman treatment to the populace. In fact, many of the activists receive death threats and the regime is outrightly clear that they should pay for their crimes with their own blood. Many a times, the regime goes beyond just mere rhetoric and does the unthinkable.
Park was born and grew up in native North Korea and came from a well up family until her father was arrested for being in an alleged metal smuggling business to China. Immediately after the arrest, he was sent to a labor camp which prompted Yeonmi and her mother to embark on a journey that was supposed to take them away from their miserable county to a much better place.
Speaking at one of her many conferences, she painfully remembered as a little girl when her mother was telling her to talk in a soft whisper so the birds cannot hear. The regime instills fear right from the beginning and when she landed in the West for the first time, she was surprised to find parents encouraging their children to be better at expressing themselves.
Yeonmi’s story on Amazon also reveals that there are very few countries in the world that are as mysterious and secretive as North Korea. The regime’s leadership style is disturbing and it forces more than 24 million people to live in enforced poverty conditions. The worst thing about the dictatorship’s style is the fact that it extends the poverty facet to every area of the citizenry’s lives. During early schooling, kindergarten kids are taught using examples of people belonging to the rest of the world being impure. They therefore grow up knowing that they are the only ‘clean’ people only to end up realizing that it is the plain opposite in a few years to come.
The regime even dictates what movies people should watch, what music they should listen to as well as who to associate with. Aged only thirteen years, she embarked on a journey to seek the truth in matters related to human rights and has finally achieved her objective precisely the reason she is on the forefront to fight for those who are still in the position she was before.