Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where starvation was a daily threat and her mother constantly warned her to be careful because even mice and birds have ears.
At age 13, she and her mother escaped to China where they were at the mercy of human traffickers.
Eventually, after a four day journey across the frozen Gobi desert, she and her Mother made it to safety in South Korea.
Park is now a human rights advocate.
She tells her story in a new book called In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom
Park grew up in North Korea, but didn’t realize the extent of the nation’s privation and repression until her father, a civil servant, was arrested for smuggling.
The family soon lost its relatively privileged status and, facing starvation, Park and her mother escaped to the South.
Her memoir is a harrowing account of the long journey through China and Mongolia at the mercy of human traffickers.
Today, Park is a human rights advocate and a leader of young Korean dissidents.
She talks to Afternoons about her new book.