North Korea has attracted a great deal of negative attention in recent years. This part of the world has been noted as a place where the leaders do not allow many people to leave or to visit. Many South Koreans have been completely denied the right to visit this part of the world even if they have relatives who live here. They have also been denied the right to travel through North Korea in order to visit China. The same is true for many others who have sought to visit this part of the world and see what is going on here.
While many North Koreans have been denied the right to travel, a few people have been able to sneak out and tell the world what is going on here. One such person is Yeonmi Park. Yeonmi Park grew up in this part of the world with her family. Here, she was born into a relatively affluent family that had ties to the ruling elite of this nation. However, after her father’s falling out with the small cadre of families ruling the nation, she and her family were essentially internally exiled and forced to face all kinds of problems as a result. Her family’s sudden fall from grace led to her living the life of many ordinary North Koreans and sharing their enormous hardships as a result. Her childhood here was spent facing the many problems that many North Koreans are forced to confront each day. Such problems include lack of access to basic food items as well as well the need to attend forced labor camps where labor is obligatory under often unpleasant and even possibly dangerous conditions.
As a child, she was also forced to attend classes that are designed to indoctrinate ordinary North Koreans in a cult that is based around admiration and love of the nation’s leader. Many North Koreans are taught little about the outside world and not allowed access to sources that might give them ideas other than the ones demanded by the nation’s Communist leaders. They are often forced to spend hours learning about the leaders of the nation to the detriment of other forms of education. The material that is taught here is designed to produce a population that dedicated to the idea of creating a Communist state that views much of the rest of the world as potentially serious enemies.
Yeonmi Park shared her story on youtube, her mother made a brave escape from North Korea. Since that time, she has chosen to tell others what it was like growing up here in this part of the world. Her storytelling skills have been much admired by many others who have been memorized by the way she is able to tell people what is happening here in great detail and help them fully understand what needs to change if this region is to become a better place for of those living here. As she continues to tell her story she hopes to help her fellow North Koreans.