North Korea is not a stranger to the world. The country is known for its kept secrets as well as its horrible reputation to brutalize the citizens. Despite the rumors of North Korea, it has been hard to extract concrete truths as to what goes on behind the walls of the North Korean border.
North Korea has the world’s fifth largest army in addition to having the capability to use their nuclear weapons to create a war. Despite this, one woman in particular is a North Korean defector and has been constantly, in her many years of being free, helping other refugees from North Korea escape the horrible regime.
This woman’s name is Yeonmi Park and she is 21 years old. Ever since the age of 13, Yeon-mi Park has been been a human rights activist whose goal is to speak out against the totalitarian regime of North Korea. In response to this, North Korea has denounced Yeon-mi Park as a citizen. This strategy was used to silence the human rights activist for good. It was the country’s attempt to silence Ms. Park for speaking out against this secretive and repressive regime.
There have been multiple North Korean defectors who have spoken out against North Korea. What comes with this dangerous job are the death threats that every human rights activist is, by now, used to. One activist, Park Sang-hak, launched helium balloons with anti-regime pamphlets over the North Korean wall. This act was responded by a hit-man who was intercepted in South Korea with a poison-tipped needle. The hit-man was on his way to murder Park Sang-hak.
One of the growing businesses in North Korea is that of trying to get rid of those who speak out and those who are defectors of North Korea. This particular case has even been suggested to be taken to the International Criminal Court to be tried in front of the United Nations. The United Nations’ accounts in North Korea are based upon the 300 testimonies that have been given by North Korean defectors.
Yeon-mi Park, despite being so young and fragile looking, as been speaking against this repressive regime. She does so by explaining her life in North Korea as well as her life after she escaped. Her story follows a long path of sadness as she explains that she became a part of the human trafficking industry and was separated from her mother and her father. Before even becoming fluent in English, Ms. Park was giving commendable speeches of her hard journey to be saved.
Yeon-mi Park is one of the thousands of North Korean refugees that escape the border each year. Her story and her hardship have given much detail as to what every refugee must go through in order to be free. These testimonies that have been given by thousands on North Koreans show that the totalitarian regime in North Korea is one that must be stopped. If little girls such as 13 year old Yeon-mi Park must escape from her country, then something must be done.