When Yeonmi Park was only 13 years old in 2007, she escaped from North Korea with her mother. She wasn’t even aware of the concept of freedom before the escape. Yeonmi had to endure traveling through a frozen river at night to cross the border into China. When they arrived, they had no solid plan.
Terrible starvation, thoughts of suicide and unfortunately abuse were just some of the atrocious horrors that Yeonmi experienced while on her incredible journey. She is a woman with very strong character and fortitude. Sadly, Yeonmi was raped early on in her migration to South Korea, at only 13 years old. This is a fact that she hid out of shame and she couldn’t bring herself to talk about at the time it occurred.
Yeonmi’s father departed North Korea to join her and her mother, but he died of cancer shortly after. She says her father regrettably passed on without knowing about democracy and the large amount of food that is actually available to the world.
Dedicated to her goal, Yeonmi traveled across China for several years to get to her ultimate destination of South Korea. She suffered while traveling through China’s extensive Gobi desert. They trekked all the way to the border of Mongolia. It took her several long and tiring years to get to her destination. The young girl was astonishingly determined to make it through. Finally, she boarded a plane to South Korea.
Some facts of her journey, she detailed in her Amazon released book have been changed to protect some of her relatives that still live under the North Korean government.
You can read more about her incredible story on the Reason.com.