North Korean Defector Devotes Life to Human Rights
There are certain people in the world that you would not want to make angry. One of those people is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) Kim Jong Un. At the Women in the World Summit, 21 year old North Korean defector Yeonmi Park stated that she was one of those people whom Kim Jong Un does not like.
It was a bold statement that showed Park’s sense of humor but also shed light on the seriousness of the situation. Park was raised in fear as many North Korean children are. North Korean children would be taught North Korean propaganda even in elementary stages through math lessons that depicted killing Americans.
Unfortunately for Yeonmi Park of yeonmi.net, this was not the extent of the negative circumstances surrounding her life. In order to protect her children who escaped North Korea to China, Park’s mother was raped. Before escaping to China, Park even admits to having to endure witnessing bloody inhumane executions. Park and her family endured many cold nights in the cold Gobi Dessert in order to experience the freedom that she has today.
Park now has dedicated her life to raising awareness to the lifestyle that North Korean citizens have no choice but to endure. For many North Korean youth, human trafficking is unfortunately a reality. It’s not uncommon for a young girl to be sold for $200. Park seeks to educate the world about these atrocities.
And Park’s speaking out has not gone unnoticed by the North Korean government. Even as a nuclear power with one of the most powerful armies in the world, the North Korean government have trained their eyes on Yeonmi Park and other North Korean defectors. The government released a propaganda hit piece entitled “The Human Rights Propaganda Puppet.” This 18 minute video attempts to silence Park’s activism by smearing this brave critic of North Korea.
However, in 2014, a United Nations inquiry into North Korea confirmed everything that Yeonmi Park has advocated for. Forced abortions, rape, violence, Nazi-like executions, starvation, and torturing are used everyday as intimidation by the North Korean government to bully their own citizens. And while this goes on, more North Korean citizens are finding ways to defect just as Yeonmi Park did when she was younger.
Now living in Seoul, South Korea, Yeonmi Park continues to fight to let her voice be heard around the world. She has created YouTube videos that have gone viral. She has been the featured speakers at many conferences and summits around the world in order to promote awareness of the atrocities in North Korea that infringe on human rights. And she continues to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to let voice be heard around the world.