Inspiration by Example: Yeonmi Park

I read Yeonmi Park’s story online and was nothing short of impressed by how much she has accomplished at such a juvenile age. She will be visiting the Depauw University to share her captivating story about her escape from North Koreas torturous grip. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll know that the event is to take effect a day after her 22nd birthday and is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 at the Green Center’s Kresge Auditorium and is free for everyone.

North Korea has kept itself away from the public eye for a while. The country is known for communism and has been in the public eye for mostly all the wrong reason. North Koreans are brought up to believe living and dying for the North Korean regime was the purest form of life.

Park was one of the believers, inspired by “the Titanic” one of the greatest love stories, Park somehow found her way out of North Korea and lived through it. On March 30th, 2007, Park, and her mother crossed a frozen river endless geographical barriers at night to get to the Chinese border with the help of illegal smugglers. After crossing over, one of the smugglers forcefully wanted to have sex with Park but later raped her mother after reasoning with him. Her father had succumbed to illness after his arrest and had felt that going along with them would only slow them down, but he managed to join them later

Her sister had escaped earlier and had already crossed over through the Chinese border, but they never got a hold of her and assumed she was dead. In China, her family went through a lot of ups and downs trying to stay hidden away from the authorities. Her father later died at 45, and they buried him without a formal burial as they feared any suspicion from powers that be. After laying him to rest, they traveled by bus to a Christian missionary in the port of Qingdao.

With the aid of Christian missionaries, Yeonmi Park and her family traveled through the Gobi desert to Mongolia. On reaching the Mongolian border, they were threatened with deportation back to South Korea but after reasoning with the guards, they soon found themselves on a plane to Seoul

Park has since lived a life of activism championing the cause of North Korean refugees. She is also a flourishing reporter and has appeared on many global talk shows

Park’s life has been a source of inspiration to many across the globe and has become a voice for the oppressed. She was featured on BBC’s top 100 women and at such a tender age, we have yet to see how far she will go.