When Yeon-Mi Park, a North Korean defector, made her debut on the stage in October 2014 with harrowing tales of the life under the repressive regime of North Korea and her family’s escape for freedom, she left activists, audiences, and some journalists in tears.
Wearing the traditional Korean dress with its high waist and voluminous skirt, Yeon-Mi Park stood in front of tons of people at One Young World 2014 Summit that was held in Dublin. While stating her story, there were long pauses, holding her hand to her mouth, wiping tears as she told of seeing executions, of starving, of being brainwashed, and of how Titanic, a Hollywood blockbuster, opened her eyes to the reality. Yeon-Mi Park realize made her think that there’s still a chance for change and love is still possible.
Like several refugees, she and her family have experienced the worst. Seeing her mother being raped in front of her and burying her father without a funeral are just some of what she went through. She also threatened to kill herself instead of allowing Mongolian soldiers to send her back to North Korea. Her speech ended with how she desired the world to be aware of what others of North Korea are showing and experiencing her gratitude to those who listened her story and the care they have provided her and the rest of those who tried escaping from North Korea.
Even if there were inconsistencies in her story, a lot of people still believe that what Yeon-Mi Park told everyone during the summit was real. As a matter of fact, almost all North Koreans who have escaped from their country have also different stories to tell. Nevertheless, what makes Yeon-Mi Park unique is that she is brave enough to tell everybody in the world that people in North Korea require help. Now, Yeon-Mi Park is a celebrity. She is a host on a television show called “Now On My Way To Meet You” that focus on the Kim Dynasty.
When her beliefs matter, Yeon-Mi Park believes that there are both positive and negative for North Korea that should be reunified with South Korea. Park also have doubts that there could be a chance of reunifying the Korean Peninsula because they don’t desire for it. South Koreans discriminate the defectors as the illegal immigrants to their country. She also believes that there are southerners nor northerners in the peninsula of Korea. Yeon-Mi Park also presumes that there is a possibility that a chance for reunification is possible if North Korea will get rid of Soviet Union.
Yeon-Mi Park also believes that change could happen in North Korea if she and along with North Korean defectors would continue advocating for human rights in North Korea. She also presumed that if the regime will adjust, it will let the leader of North Korea to concentrate on their people and be open to the world. However, if Jangmadang will remain active, many North Koreans would expose themselves to the real world and would question the meaning of their lives.
Yeon-Mi Park and just like every North Korean consider Kim Jong-Un as a cruel leader to the North Korea’s people due to continuing abuse of his own people. She also stated that Kim Jong-Un is a criminal who kills over eighty people in one day just because of reading Bible or watching a film. Yeon-Mi Park also said that that Kim Jong-Un is a cruel young man who ordered to kill everyone who tries to escape. That is the reason why Yeon-Mi Park believes that he should be punished for toying his own people.