If all that stood between you and freedom was the Gobi Desert, would you attempt to make it across and risk the dangers involved? To some in China, the desert is the only way to escape from the entrapments of human trafficking. Many would rather brave the elements and the dry condition of the desert for the chance at their freedom. That is exactly what happened to Yeonmi Park back in 2007. At the tender age of 14, she had seen more horrific things in her time than most adults will ever experience. She was on a mission to find her sister when she found herself at the mercy of those who govern the human trafficking rings.
Her heart wrenching story on Youtube can also be read in her new book: In Order To Live. The tale is something straight out of a nightmare drama. A girl of only 14 had so much to live for, yet at times she wished herself dead. She was abused, raped, starved and left for dead on some occasions. When she and her mother left North Korea to get away from the fierce control of the Kim Jong Un regime, she never dreamed that she would jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. She no more than made it to the border where she was looking or her sister, when a man approached her wanting to use her body for money. As a young child she had no interest, but they used enticements that told her they would help her find her sister in exchange for her services.
Park told tales of women who didn’t cooperate with the Chinese officials behind this dark art. They are taken back to North Korea and killed. The regime in Korea is very much aware of the evils that go on all around the country, yet they choose to turn a deaf ear to it. In fact, they are often quite eager to get involved in human trafficking as it is a big money maker for them too. There are executives and professionals that are also involved. Professionals like doctors, lawyers and various other business men help to sell these women for profit.
Most women are sold for a few hundred dollars to the highest bidder. They can be traded or sold at any time depending on their worth. The youngest and virgins go for the highest dollar amount. A “pimp” can make more than what they paid for a girl in just a couple nights of selling them for their services. The girls are beaten down emotionally and often given drugs to make them robotic and just preform. They don’t have any choice in the matter and there are no days off. It’s a dark world that Park wants brought into the light. She is an overcomer but it nearly took her life.
She now lives with her mother and sister in South Korea. She lost her father due to colon cancer during this whole process. While the regime of the North Korean government hates her, she is even more determined to let her story be heard.