Saturday, October 3, 2015

Yeonmi Park's escape from North Korea and "journey to freedom"

I first posted about Yeonmi Park's escape from North Korea last year. As I quoted from her back then:

I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn't know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime. . . . I had to be careful of my thoughts because I believed Kim Jong-il could read my mind.
When I posted that, I had no idea she would ever go to America, let alone that I’d have the pleasure of meeting her in NYC. Her memoir, In Order to Live, came out this week, and I just started reading it.

At a talk by Yeonmi the other day, my friend Peter Prosol took these notes (using first and third person):
Is it that difficult for other leaders to say one sentence to Xi Jinping when they meet him: if you encounter North Korean refugees in China, can you please not send them back?

If I had the things Americans throw away, I wouldn't have left North Korea. The way people have to live is unimaginably, indescribably bad.

A refugee she met in China was trying to injure herself to induce an abortion so as to be able to escape a man who kept her in captivity, enabled by the legal shadows China keeps refugees in.
Everyone should read this book.


Sammy Finkelman said...

It is definitely a good idea to mention that - the best that can be said is that Mark Zuckerberg is a total ignoramus --- China must be told we already know how bad North Korea is, and the only thing returning them does is make clear that China supports the North Korean dictatorship. You should say that.

sean said...

Why should we read this book? There is nothing we can do about the situation that is described. Plus, the South Koreans don't care, so why should we?

John Althouse Cohen said...

No, there is something you can do. Aside from reading the book because it's a fascinating book that sheds light on a place that's shrouded in darkness, you can help Peter Prosol raise the last $1,000 he needs to rescue another person from North Korean.

Freeman Hunt said...

And here is another organization that helps defectors: Life Funds for North Korean Refugees.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Peter Prosol has now exceeded his goal of $3,000 — the amount necessary to rescue one North Korean. You can still donate to the organization, Liberty in North Korea (or if you want to go further, become a fundraiser).