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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Thousand Miles to Freedom

A Thousand Miles to Freedom

My Escape from North Korea

Eunsun Kim with Sébastien Falletti, trans. by David Tian

St. Martin's Griffin

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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.

1

December 1997



For nearly a week, I had been alone in our tiny, freezing apartment in Eundeok, the town in North Korea where I was born. Other than a coffee table and a wooden dresser, my parents had sold all of our furniture...

Praise for A Thousand Miles to Freedom

“In A Thousand Miles to Freedom, an exceptionally bright young girl grabs your hand and leads you down into the darkness of North Korea. When she lets go of your hand, she is in her twenties and joyously free--and you have felt the texture of life in the world's last totalitarian state.” —Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14

“"A Thousand Miles to Freedom is the beautiful and haunting story of a girl who survived against all odds, in the face of one of the cruelest and most oppressive regimes in modern history. With an intimate and compelling voice, Eunsun shares the details of her childhood in North Korea and the long journey that led her to freedom and hope for a better future. A must-read, as compelling as it is important."” —Senator George Mitchell

“Eunsun's extraordinary story brings to light the extreme challenges that the North Korean people have faced for decades, and the dangerous and unpredictable journey that many have risked to escape one of the most repressive countries in the world. Her amazing triumph over adversity also represents a new generation that is breaking free of the controls of this regime to fulfill their potential, raising a source of hope for change in a country where many have seen none.” —Hannah Song, President and CEO of Liberty in North Korea

“I read A Thousand Miles to Freedom in one sitting. It reads like a fast-paced … More…

“In A Thousand Miles to Freedom, an exceptionally bright young girl grabs your hand and leads you down into the darkness of North Korea. When she lets go of your hand, she is in her twenties and joyously free--and you have felt the texture of life in the world's last totalitarian state.” —Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14

“"A Thousand Miles to Freedom is the beautiful and haunting story of a girl who survived against all odds, in the face of one of the cruelest and most oppressive regimes in modern history. With an intimate and compelling voice, Eunsun shares the details of her childhood in North Korea and the long journey that led her to freedom and hope for a better future. A must-read, as compelling as it is important."” —Senator George Mitchell

“Eunsun's extraordinary story brings to light the extreme challenges that the North Korean people have faced for decades, and the dangerous and unpredictable journey that many have risked to escape one of the most repressive countries in the world. Her amazing triumph over adversity also represents a new generation that is breaking free of the controls of this regime to fulfill their potential, raising a source of hope for change in a country where many have seen none.” —Hannah Song, President and CEO of Liberty in North Korea

“I read A Thousand Miles to Freedom in one sitting. It reads like a fast-paced adventure novel, or perhaps A Thousand Splendid Suns in places. But Kim Eun-sun and her family are real people, and their trials and tragedies--and ultimate triumph--will move you all the more for it. Her story is a testament to the best and worst mankind has to offer. You find yourself rooting for her, and though Kim Eun-sun's life must be much less turbulent now, I find myself rooting for her still. Don't read this book just to satisfy your interest in North Korea. Read it to be inspired by an extraordinary person's spirit, and read it to remind yourself what human beings are capable of.” —Daniel Tudor, author of Korea: The Impossible Country and Korea correspondent for The Economist

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Reviews from Goodreads

Eunsun Kim with Sébastien Falletti, trans. by David Tian

EUNSUN KIM grew up in North Korea. At age 11, she fled the country and began the harrowing 9-year journey that led her to freedom. Today, Eunsun works at an NGO promoting human rights in North Korea. She lives in South Korea.

SEBASTIEN FALLETTI has been the Korea correspondent for the French newspaper Le Figaro since 2009. He covers political and business news across Asia. Born in Paris, Sébastien is now based in Seoul and Shanghai.

image of Eunsun Kimo
Jeong Yi

Eunsun Kim

St. Martin's Griffin

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