tv Book Discussion on In Order to Live CSPAN December 5, 2015 9:15pm-10:01pm EST
>> next on book tv she describes her experience escaping into china, being sold in the slavery and finding freedom and south korea. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. hello, everyone. thank you for coming to tonight's event. a few announcements before we begin. silence your cell phones. you can always keep up with our comings and goings comeau we have calendars of the information desk. for your information c-span will be coming this event, and your image may be captured. a presence here indicates your permission. because we are being filmed
my guess is a question-and-answer portion please raise your hand and wait for the man with a microphone to come by in order to ask a question. i also have a new website platform. closing early tonight. we expect this to be a lively discussion and are not asking anyone to leave early but we will close down promptly at 855. the bathrooms also close of a 45 tonight. tonight we are very happy to welcome yummy park with her memoir in order to live in north korea girls journey to freedom. she was born in north korea under the rule of kim jong-il where she spent much of her childhood hungry and fear of the governments controlling rule and with only a knowledge of what state-controlled media told her. at 13 her family made a daring escape into china but she would then face further challenges of being sold to
traffickers. before finding freedom and south korea. her new memoir which is called an elegant wrenchingly honest work but vividly represents the plight of many north koreans detailing the struggles and her new life as a human's rights activist giving speeches to credit auditoriums in cities around the world. tonight's event will include an author question-and-answer command she will be appear to sign books for you. please lineup on the left-hand side of the room. we have books available for purchase. thank you for coming for tonight's event. please welcome yummy park. [applause] >> thank you so much.
i am honored to be here. i cannot believe this. the biggest independent bookstore in the us. i've never seen this many books in my life. yeah. i don't know. it is very humbling. in him -- you know lots of things. tell you something you never knew before. i'm here to tell you today about the people. i'm not going to talk about politics command i'm not going to talk about how what kind we have. i'm just here to talk about north korea, people just like us who were trapped in the country for almost 70 years. i was remembering my life in
north korea, and i remember not only physically but emotionally. two different dictatorship. one physical. you are not allowed to where earrings. you're not allowed to where teams. and you're not allowed to watch movies, not allowed to listen to films. tell you how good the regime is. and the other dictatorship in north korea is the emotional dictatorship. this controls emotions. and the teachers that they are god's. so the very 1st thing my mom told me was not to whisper because they can here you.
and i believe. and i thought he could read my thoughts. he could read my mind. so from the very beginning i was not allowed to think of myself. i did not even no what independent thinking or critical thinking was. that was something you never know and you never allowed to know. of course i was going to be in this place, millions of books here. and in front of you because it's very different. when i lived in north korea i never knew how many countries exist in the world. i never knew what satellite was. i never knew what internet was. and they never taught me about africa or canada,
australia. but they tell me our enemies and i enemies very clear and simple. american bastard and japanese imperialist. and south korea colonized by american bastards. so we have to freedom. american bastards they have big nose and putting the people and are monsters. i never knew how north america was. all the people walking around, so much diversity in the country. and i learned at school. there are four american bastards and we killed two
of them. now how many american bastards are left to kill? that was my question. you can see me here today. my enemies. so you never know. it's life. you really never know. and the application poverty, starvation, we don't know, thanks can be different. if this is how life is been. his of this is how life is supposed to be. you cannot think of the different possibilities. life can be different because you're not allowed to go to a movie. and also not allowed to read books like here. philosophers. i did not know what philosophy was our evolution all i knew was going.
that is how during the 1995 to 1998 some people say 3 million people die. and total population was 22 million to 24 million and you can imagine how many people died during that time. family members, including mine. one day i was very young and i saw my grandma was taking some medicine. and i was asking her, grandma comeau why he had to take so many medicine. she was telling me, i need some rest. very young. and a few hours later i hear to follow her my uncle screaming and asking my grandma to wake up command that is how she ended her life.
that was something. something not like. say it was on. nobody told me. there is no word for freedom in north korea. and there is no word for love. only love you can express that country's love for the regime. i could never imagine i could tell my mom i love you everybody has to love and promise that they are willing to die for the regime. take care of people, north korea people, killing people for watching dvds.
but luckily i did not get caught and i watched a foreign dvd. i watched double 07. 007, the action movie command i thought, okay, american shooting each other all the time. they climb tall buildings. buildings. i don't know how they do it, but i cannot live there. i saw wwf pro wrestling and thought that's all how american men look like. i was so disappointed. and i said, the titanic, i know you all no that movie. to me i cannot focus. i was shocked. how somebody dared to make a movie. it's. it's a love story. i could not imagine somebody make a movie about a love story. in north korea there is no
romeo and juliet. i never knew what shakespeare was. i never get 18 century, 15 century, century, 19th century people wrote books. the whole history. not allowed to knowknow where you are coming from. we is now we're the people. shocking. and inin the movie there is no propaganda. freedom and humanity. i did not have internet to check what it was. here we have to mention it is doing this country. because in north korea and
that is how. he got tortured and lost his dignity. but when he was in prison is not a level that we can think of. they can look at the guards eyes because they are not human beings. these people are not human beings. we hear that a lot and political prison camps. a lot of the labor camps in north korea. they should people. and that is how. my father and mother got interrogated. appearance of the age of eight.
it's so different. and the only way was going to china. i do not know what was happening. go to china. and at the age of 13 and my sister was 15 she left to china. she left me and said if you go they can help you to go to china command that is how , seven days later i could barely walk. they found a lady and she told that we could go to china that day. i didn't question why the lady was going to help us why she didn't ask for money we were so desperate that is how we cross the river in 2,007. i thought if i go to china,
-- 2009. and then we followed the northern skies to freedom. that is how i became free. it was a thousand miles of journey to be here. but i had to start thinking for myself. i had to know about this world. i was a traveler i never knew how an airplane flies, i thought they might have wings or i didn't know how they were flying. i didn't know what lights were. i know when i saw on tv and in south korea i'd did not even know i had a life. how different this world is. not only that but i had to learn
about machines and money, i used a what a movie theater is, what a supermarket was, i was like a baby i could talk and walk i did not know anything. it was very painful but not only that people would ask me what do you think. i never had the privileged to choose or what i would wear or what i was going to study. but people ask me. i did not know what i want to do. i was asking and hoping someone could tell me what i should do with my life. but not only that i had lost
faith in humanity. if i had been in north korea that was my life, i just cannot do it. the one that changed me and that was the animal farm. i thought the book was going to be about animals and i picked a very thin book because i didn't think i could read a thick book. i just couldn't believe it. my grandma was in that book, my mother was in that book. and that's showed me the past of
north korea in the presence of north korea. and i realize that what we are going through now is injustice and they say if you live in injustice how can you make that happen. how can people get arrested for watching a movie? why are people not allowed to go to school? because if they're born born in north korea and they are not different, they have a whole potential to be like south korea. but after they had a different political system that group that was most developed and is the most darkest place on earth. and i think is it really that bad? it is really that bad.
and that is why i am telling my story. that that is why i wrote the story. i hope you can learn something and do something about this tragedy. we have lots of things i say, my father he passed away in the china in the middle of the night. i was up scared that someone could hear me. i hope you can spread the world and want the world to know and the people can feel like us. thank you so much for taking the time to come to this. [applause].
does anybody have questions? >> i'm very fun of going on youtube and looking at north korean videos that are posted. we always see the north korean people sharing madman crying, weeping when they see their grand leader and all like that. how much of that you think is real and how much is just because they better do that. >> oh, and is a good question. actually i wonder the same thing. when in north korea everyone is watching each other and you do not trust each other, you do not
know who is spy. and i spy on you and you spy on me and someone spy on her, you cannot escape escape that. so somebody's always watching me and i have to watch you and so it's like if i don't do something then i would be punished again. so so everyone is watching on each other. that is how they keep controlling the country and with the fear. that is like nobody was telling me the truth. and i said i didn't tell the truth either. i told nobody. so, i don't know if people are just doing it to survive. if they don't cry they would get killed. so even if it is real or not it is not right people if people
don't clap they would be killed. and they have to do it to survive. so, yeah crazy. thank you. >> about three years ago there was another author who cowrote a book with a guy by the name of chin, have you met him? >> he is my friend. >> okay. >> yeah did you have a question about that? >> i just wondered if you had a chance to contact him yet, but you do. >> yeah. like what he does. he just married and he married
an american lady. and he is living in freedom and hands an activist and spokesperson. >> thank you. >> what were the circumstances one for the first time you actually felt free? >> i think i have known every day what it means to be free, free to means not something, i think freedom is everything for me. once i found the freedom i became a new human being. i can talk talk and i can think for
myself. i think when i was able to read a book, i had to catch lots of stuff. i just had to read to survive in south korea. i would be like alien. i would ask questions. so it was like how i could imagine about taking an airplane, i didn't even know what a passport was. i did not even know that traveling was allowed for human beings. so everything that we do and to have this voice.
>> i have a question about your anguish which english which is quite good. how did you learn it. also have a question question about the story with your sister. >> so my sister she came to us after seven years ago and we met in freedom again. so she survived that she never gave up so she is in freedom and she is safe. and for english, it's kind of not bad, i have tv show friends. so once you watch i watch 240
episodes and you watch it like 30 times then you'll know the english very sure. i know lots of 80s, 90s slaying and people look at me like what's wrong with you? but yeah that's how i use the information by the tv shows. but that help teach me the culture. you know like that thanksgiving and new year's eve, those things. >> i have read that a lot of people as i got to south korea they felt tremendous hostility, they were not welcome.
did you have the same experience among the south korean towards you? >> yes. it's another tragedy. you'd say you escape north korea and you escape china, than in south korea everything would be right. okay, no. that world is very hard for us. i don't know why south korea has so much things and they have other countries, they have compassion, generosity and kindness. but they have a very ignorant attitude towards north korea and human rights issue. i think because of the korean war. -thing if i say i'm from south
korea they will say i'm a spy. though say why you are here, your spine. so they think that if we come there we still their job. and they increase competition. and they think we're less educated people. they might have higher crime rights and they think that you are not trustworthy you don't know anything, and you have different accent. so that is the kind of stereotype against us. so we also had to fight that again. so my university i told nobody i would sam from south korea. that that is the way i could survive
again. i think that is changing but i think a lot of people still have those attitudes. but i hope it changes soon. thank you so much for your question. >> has the regime tried to discredit you and your story? >> yes. according to them i am a poisonous mushroom. they really can say something very mean. but not only that i had my story told before and i was not allowed to share in south korea
-- i thought if i told people what i went through they would not believe. i taught i would be someone's mother someday enough i want to survive this i have to hide it. but then i realize realize i have to tell the whole story. i have to tell the whole story and that is how i wrote it in the book. [inaudible] obviously he is everything to
try to discredit me and that campaigns against me, so it is a fight. it is a fight, i'm still not free, they, they are still trying to control me and that point. >> i just had a question, so you said you did not know how many north korea -- what were north korean maps like? >> good question. you are talking about poverty. there is a different level of poverty when i say how poor we are it is not the way i can describe. his like you have one pencil and you don't use it because it's very valuable.
and then you have one and then you we race and then you write again and erase it. you will ever imagine that pencils can be colored. and everybody is copying for their textbook. so there's no way i can, but that is the first moment like in the desert. wow. we do not have colors for gloves, in the country were really poor people are living. >> do you feel safe when you're
traveling in in the united states or overseas? >> i guess. i'm 22 years old i feel like i lived a thousand years, literally. i have seen so many things. i saw the kindness and i've lived in lots of very different countries. i was a slave slave and i mild free prison now. it feels like my life now, unfortunately that's my case. like most regimes there were trying to get information from north korea and it scared me.
[inaudible] you know freedom is not free you have to pay a price for that. so, thank you. >> can you speak about how you got involved with the nonprofit liberty in north korea? >> all i am not working with them, i was i was helping with them on a project. they invited me to speak. so i was supporting their work. i was so trying to do their campaign.
thank you. >> i was wondering do you ever miss anything and what is lover dating like it north korea? >> what what is stating my? >> do you miss anything about north korea and what is it like if you love someone or are dating someone in north korea? >> yeah i think this could be a fun part. i really hope because i feel bad so imagine you don't have all this life you don't have this big giant building, you don't have the music, you don't have any technology. the only hear the sounds of human can make, their washing
dishes and cooking. that's how it is in north korea. it is not easy moving. but in that you can have very close connections. you don't have any toys, the children have to cling onto your parents. parents that is nice about north korea the intimacy. i think dating life was, my mother got married to my father and they didn't even hold hands before they got married. i i asked my mom, why did you get married and she told me i just didn't hate him.
so it is not like that i love you romance. i never knew what romance was we had nowhere to go on dates. you have stuff your coffee shops, and if there is a guy who had the dream to take his child on a drive. but but you never own a car north korea. but i can drive now. for the first time. and that can be somebody's train. is working really hard and then he wants to take his wife to a drive. that is our dream. and i think in north korea you do not have the luxury to think about romance.
you do not have romantic novels. you have nothing. but i guess some people fall in love but we don't know we can say i love you. everybody is revolutionary and north korea. are there any more questions? >> you said you had a boy who was infatuated with you. have you heard anything from him since the book was complete? >> no. oh his father went to prison camp and i don't even know if he is still alive.
so that is our lives. people are missing and there's no way to find those people. hopefully i can go back home someday and find some of my friends. thank you so much for your question. >> okay have a wonderful evening. and i hope you enjoy the book. [applause]. you're welcome to go downstairs and buy the book and come back up.
their selections for best books of the year. here's a look at a few that made the new york times 100 notable books list. charlotte jacobs recalls the life and career a polio vaccine inventor. in $2 a day, catherine eden and luke shafer explore poverty in the united states. margot jefferson made the list for her memoir negro land. she recalls growing up among the black elite. polish author reveals those responsible for the massacre of jewish residents of a small polish town in 1941. in the crime and the silence. and in destiny a power, john beauchamp looks at the life of former president george hw bush. >> baker says to them, will i want to be a congressman, i think you're just using this as a steppingstone to the senate. george hw bush says no i'm not using the census steppingstone to the senate, i want to be
president. he is 41 years old, he has not won a race, but he had a sense of destiny, a word he doesn't particularly like. it was a sense that he was meant to do great things. >> that is a look at some of the new york times 100 notable books for 2015. book tv is covered many of these authors. you can watch the full program on our website book tv.org. >> now on book tv, afterwards with pulitzer prize winning journalist gilbert gaul who examines the business culture of college football. he is interviewed by tom mcmillan. >> it bill, it is right to be with you