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Yeonmi Park’s DPRK refugee memoir out next week

Yeonmi Park in Stefan Ruiz's photo for the Telegraph
Yeonmi Park in Stefan Ruiz’s photo for the Telegraph

Yeonmi Park’s defector memoir In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom comes out in a couple of days. It is trailed in this weekend’s Telegraph and her testimony has also been examined in The Diplomat. Italian and German editions will be coming out later this year.


According to Aidan Foster Carter, this is the fourth North Korean refugee memoir to be published in English this year. Eunsun Kim’s A Thousand Miles to Freedom, Joseph Kim’s Under the Same Sky and Hyeonsoo Lee’s The Girl with Seven Names. Can’t help wondering if there really is room for them all.

The book is available from and elsewhere.

Update 27 Sept:

A video posted by UN Watch on 22 September:

To add to the sceptical Diplomat article linked above, a social media commentator had this to say prompted by the UN Watch video:

Interesting to see Park Yeon Mi speaking at the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of the UN Watch, a pro-Israeli NGO. Previously, she said she’s interning with the UN: UN Watch is not a UN body. She’s now adding a new story that she was a ‘child bride’ at the age of 13, adding to her mother’s rape story. DPRK, however, calls her a ‘foxy ghost’ 여우귀신.

It’s fair to point out that Park responded to the Diplomat article as follows:

I apologize that there have been times when my childhood memories were not perfect, like how long my father was sentenced to prison. Now I am checking with my mom and others to correct everything. I am also writing a book about my life in North Korea, my escape through China and and my work to promote human rights. It is where I will be able to tell my full story.

It will be remembered that when Shin Dong-hyuk’s testimony was admitted to be inaccurate in parts, the DPRK understandably sought to take full advantage.

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