Yeonmi Park and the rise of her activism in Asia

North Korea has one-pint sized woman enemy, Yeonmi Park. Yeonmi Park is a 21-year-old defector described as a human rights propaganda puppet. The country has denounced her because of the activism she has been carrying out.

Who is Yeonmi Park?

The 21-year-old rights activist and human rights crusader journey is long, having escaped to China and later settling in South Korea in the year 2009. In early childhood of Yeonmi Park, she faced problems after her father was jailed for smuggling during the 1990s economic problems. The family faced starvation, and they fled to China, where they fell in the hands of human traffickers.


Yeonmi Park rose to global fame in the year 2014, after giving a brilliant speech at the One Young World conference in Dublin City, concerning her escape and challenging life in North Korea.

Park, the book writer

Today, Yeonmi Park is known for her activisms and bold style addressing the corrupt leaders of North Korea. In her upcoming book, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, she writes of all she underwent, her difficult childhood, life in different countries at a young age and her education.

Yeonmi Park narrates how she escaped from North Korea as a child and the price of her brevity. Raised in a close-knit family, Parks life was brutal in North Korea. She narrates how she spent several days hungry. While at a young age, she was made to understand the ills of the ruler, Kim Jong II. Her father was jailed for smuggling, and this is when their life started becoming a misery. At the age of 13 years, the mother decided to smuggle her across the border and into China.

In her tale, she says that their escape made her dream of freedom, yet she knew nothing of the term freedom, freedom from diseases, hunger and inhumane conditions in the prison camps. Besides, her journeys were to search for the sister who had crossed the border to China earlier.

Life in China

Park narrates her teenage life in China that took her childhood and to some extent, could have caused her life. Two years after escaping to China, they could not find their sister, and the sad news reached them that their father had died.

In her book, Park also shines to the word and the hard life in China and North Korea, which also faces the people until now. It is in this narration that she tells how at a younger age, she and her mother were sold as sex slaves before coming to freedom in South Korea. Today, Park has confronted the difficult childhood she endured, telling her experiences and relating it to other people. The book shows how she has confronted her past life and refusing to be defeated by circumstances.

Today, Park has become a leading human rights activist and spokesperson of the North Korean population, thus becoming an enemy of the ruling elite.