Reflections of a North Korean Defector: Yeonmi Park

The world has long heard of the abuses and reign of terror that occurs inside the borders of North Korea on Amazon, but eyewitness accounts have been few and far between. With the number of confirmed defectors being extremely small, there is simply little way for the global community to truly understand the abuses that are taking place inside Seoul’s neighbor to the North. One such story that has brought this issue closer to life is found in that of Yeonmi Park.

Park was only thirteen years old when she was able to escape the horrors that she and her family were experiencing in North Korea. For years, Yeonmi Park was forced to suffer in silence as she slowly made her way to freedom. She even had to endure the pain of watching her father die of cancer within months of escaping over the border himself.

The journey itself subjected her to extreme bouts of loneliness. Yeonmi Park did not always encounter people friendly to her plight. As a result, she suffered starvation and was the victim of almost constant abuse at times, particularly as she was forced to live outside of the law. This meant that she had nowhere to turn for help, out of fear that she would be discovered by someone friendly to the North Koreans and be sent back. Park reflects that this did cause her to have suicidal thoughts at times, but she did eventually pull through.

She is telling her story now via her new book entitled ‘In order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom’ on Youtube. She has written the book to not only recount her plight to the world, but to highlight the need for freedom to be embraced. Millions of North Koreans are still suffering at the hands of decades of oppressive leaders. Park felt it her obligation to her own people that their stories be told as well. To remain silent would be an injustice.

There will always be those who doubt much of what she wrote on reason. In the end, however, it is Park who was forced to live through these events. It is her story alone to tell.

Thor Halvorssen Explains Issues with Socialist Policies

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been campaigning for president of the U.S. based on democratic socialist ideals, which seem to be resonating with parts of the lower and middle classes. America seems to be at a turning point politically, and understanding exactly how a democratic socialist agenda could affect our country is critical for the upcoming election.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Thor Halvorssen took the time to explain what we should be mindful of in embracing democratic socialist policies and how the country could be radically changed if they are implemented. Halvorssen is the founder and current president of the Human Rights Foundation and has spent his life fighting vigorously for human rights through civil liberty and individual freedom around the globe. His perspective on the issue of democratic socialism is particularly interesting given his personal struggles at the hand of an authoritarian regime based on socialist principles. Halvorssen’s own father was imprisoned by the Venezuelan government for purely political reasons, and his mother was shot at a political protest in Venezuela. Right now, Halvorssen’s cousin is currently a political prisoner in Venezuela.

In the interview with Fox News, Thor Halvorssen explains that while democratic socialism can seem like a great idea in a textbook for increasing the overall prosperity of a country, especially considering the plight of the lower classes, it can often lead to the government overstepping its bounds and taking more power from its citizens that it is entitled. Under the guise of socialism, Halvorssen warns that authoritarian regimes can thrive because people turn over their rights to private property and the free market is no longer allowed to dictate economic policy. Halvorssen is much more confident in the forces of the free market to help people prosper at a higher level than entrusting the government with additional power to control the economy.

Interestingly, even though Halvorssen is a bit leery of Senator Sanders’ economic ideas, he contributed the maximum amount an individual is allowed to under U.S. campaign finance laws to the Sanders campaign. Halvorssen is confident that Sanders is a superior choice to Hillary Clinton for president.