For Yeonmi Park, the word freedom was not a reality until a very recent journey that allowed her to discover the words true meaning. In her own autobiography, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom”, the author describes the oppression and tragedy that exists within her home country and leaves a telling story about how real abuse is for some girls as young as her. Park describes the physical and mental struggle it took to survive and then find a way out, despite having her father die of cancer along the way.
The survival story on The Reason has brought inspiration to thousands of readers, capturing how desperate she and many refugees were when facing poverty, abuse, and starvation on a daily basis. While details may be altered or exaggerated, there is no doubt that the story captures the narrative of thousands of these people who face the world known human rights abuse and persecution from governmental authorities. The story is one of a few that are trying to lift the silence on the dictatorship that North Korea holds on its own citizens.
While the story is uplifting, it comes with no surprise that its critics question the accuracy of the tale itself. Pyongyang has discredited the tale through a video “Park Yeon Mi, The Puppet of the Human Rights Plot” that provides the conspiracy theory that Park and her mother are actually agents of the United States in part of a sting operation. Critics from outside of North Korea have focused in on certain details of the story that they found to be discrepancies that illustrate North Korea inaccurately.
Yeonmi Park has continuously defended her story again critics in saying that in any case of non-fiction, there are always parts to a story that have to be altered in this case to protect family members in North Korea as well as language barriers. Many of her discrepancies she feels were necessary to keep secret as they were ultimately to embarrassing to describe in detail. For more information, please visit the original article here.