According to a story recently posted on Casey&Yeonmi.com, Yeonmi Park never knew what freedom truly meant. She didn’t know what the concept was. Growing up in North Korea, the regime kept a tight rein on the people. Her happiness from a young child came by knowing that she had food to eat every day. Everything changed on March 31, 2007. Park and her mother decided to try to find her sister who had left to go to China. They crossed a frozen river, the Yalu, and reached China with no plan of what would come next. At the age of 13, she was just a child who had no idea what would happen to her over the next two years.
Though her journey began in North Korea, it ended in South Korea escaping for her life. She reached China and met a man who was supposed to help her find her sister. What she didn’t know is that this man only wanted sexual favors from her, but settled for her mother. After much abuse and being starved, she wanted to kill herself. During this time, she lost her father to cancer that was untreated. The story of Park and her family is hard to swallow. However, a new video is attempting to discredit her story and label her as a farce. Some are calling her a “celebrity defector” that wanted the fame and didn’t go through any of this.
They state that there are many inaccuracies that cannot be discredited. Park stands on NY Times behind her story and says that even though some names were changed to protect people, the abuse she endured was horrific. She was raped at 13 and because of her poor knowledge of the English language, she didn’t fare so well. Her story is compelling, but there are tens of thousands of people who are in the North Korean area who are refuges. If she were to exaggerate the facts, then it would be counterproductive. She wants to shed light to this region and let everyone know what horrible conditions these people live in. If she was lying, why would she want to help others?