Eunsun Kim: A Thousand Miles to Freedom

Eunsun Kim was born in North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the modern world. As a child Eunsun loved her country…despite her school field trips to public executions, daily self-criticism sessions, and the increasing gnaw of hunger as the country-wide famine escalated.

By the time she was eleven years old, Eunsun’s father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun too was in danger of starving. Finally, her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Before finally reaching South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family would live homeless, fall into the hands of Chinese human traffickers, survive a North Korean labor camp, and cross the deserts of Mongolia on foot.

Now, in A Thousand Miles to Freedom, Eunsun is sharing her remarkable story to give voice to the tens of millions of North Koreans still suffering in silence. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea’s totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

I’ve been listening to Eunsun’s story on audiobook for the last few weeks, and every day I have been struck by the incredible strength and bravery of this woman. She was so young when her journey started, and how she managed to keep going, I do not myself understand.

Eunsun Kim’s mission with her book is to bring global awareness to the horrors of North Korea. Writing a book like this is dangerous–she says at the beginning that she had to change names so that people she wrote about could not be connected–but she wants to make sure that outsiders understand exactly what is happening there.

Before listening to this, I really didn’t know much about North Korea, besides what we hear on the news. I’ll be picking up more books to this nature–there are so many stories that need to be heard.

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