Escape to Freedom


I saw this heartbreaking speech on youtube by a young lady called, Yeonmi Park and I just had to share. We get too focused on our own lives sometimes and it is always good to just step out of our lives and realities and witness the realities of others around the world. it is important to support in the best way we can and I will try my best to bring more stories like this because I believe that these stories have to be told. You can read the transcript below.

I have to do this because this is not I am speaking. This is the people who wanted to tell the world what they want to say. 

North Korea is an unimaginable country. There is only one channel on TV. There is no internet. 

We aren’t free to sing, say, wear or think what we want. 

North Korea is the only country in the world that executed people for making unauthorised international phone calls.

North Koreans are being terrorised today.

When I was growing up in North Korea, I never saw anything about love stories between men and women. No books, no songs, no press, no movies about love stories. 

There is no Romeo and Juliet. Every story was propaganda to brainwash us about the Kim dictators. 

I was born in 1993 and I was abducted at birth even before I knew the words – freedom and human rights. 

North Koreans are desperately seeking and dying for freedom at this moment. 

When I was nine years old, I saw my friend’s mother publicly executed. Her crime: Watching a hollywood movie. 

Expressing doubt about the greatness of the regime can get three generations imprisoned or executed. 

When I was four years old, I was warned by my mother not to even whisper. The birds and mice couldn’t hear me. I admit it, I thought the North Korean dictator could read my mind. 

My father died in China after we escaped North Korea and I had to bury him at 3 a.m in secret. 

I was 14 years old. I couldn’t even cry. I was afraid to be sent back to North Korea. 

The day I escaped North Korea, I saw my mother raped. The rapist was a Chinese broker. He targeted me. I was 13 years old. 

There is a saying in North Korea: “Women are weak but mothers are strong.”

My mother allowed herself to be raped in order to protect me.

North Korean refugees, about 300, 000 are vulnerable in China. 

70% of North Korean women and teenage girls are being victimised; Sometimes sold for as little as $200.

We walked across the Gobi desert, following a compass. When that stopped working, we followed the stars to freedom. I felt only the stars were with us.

Mongolia was our freedom moment. Death or dignity. Armed with knives, we were prepared to kill ourselves if we were going to be sent back to North Korea. We wanted to live as humans. 

People often ask me: “How can we help North Koreans?” There are many ways, but I would like to mention three for now. 

One: Educate yourself so you can raise awareness about human crisis in North Korea. 

Two: Help and support North Korean refugees who are trying to escape to freedom. 

Three: Petition China to stop repatriation. We have to shed light on the darkest place in the world.

It isn’t just North Korean human rights. It’s our rights that North Korean dictators have violated for seven decades. 

We need governments around the world to put more pressure on China to stop repatriation. 

In particular, Chinese delegates of One Young World can play a part by speaking out. 

North Korea is indescribable.No humans deserve to be oppressed just because of their birthplace. 

We need to focus less on the regime and more on the people who are being forgotten. 

One Young World, we are the ones who will make them visible. Fellow delegates, please join me as we make this a global movement to free North Koreans. 

When I was crossing the Gobi desert, scared of dying, I thought nobody in this world cared. It seemed that only the stars were with me. 

But you have listened to my story. 

You have cared. Thank you very much. 

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