Defecting from the country of North Korea is no easy matter, just ask Yeonmi Park, who spent years of her life trying to obtain freedom, having to go through four countries in the process. Yeonmi started her life in the secluded and harsh country of North Korea, rarely having enough food to eat. The country is one of the most cut off countries on the planet and is without a doubt one of the toughest places to live and survive. North Korea does not have any freedom and when Yeonmi was just thirteen years old, she decided to make a run for it with her mother. They were provided assistance from a man that helped them cross the border into China in the middle of the night, where they were met with another man that ended up selling them into China. While this may not have been the freedom they were looking for, there is no question that the option was better than heading back into North Korea. Defectors who are caught fleeing the country and returned are either killed, sent into labor camps for the remainder of their lives, or end up starving on the street, none of which were a viable option.
After several years, Yeonmi Park said on a Daily Mail UK Interview that she was released from the man she was staying with and decided that she wanted to experience true freedom in South Korea. The plan was to sneak into Mongolia, where it was expected that she would finally be able to get into South Korea. However, they were caught and were told that they would be returned to China, who would likely send them back to North Korea. After saying they would kill themselves if sent back to China, the Mongolians that had captured them ended up taking them to a holding camp, and then sending them over to South Korea. Park’s story is absolutely heart breaking and heart warming at the same time, and she can finally say that she is not oppressed and enjoying her life in the free country of South Korea.