Dear Leader: poet, spy, escapee — a look inside North Korea by Jang Jin-sung

By Jang Jin-sung

"Jang Jin-sung demonstrates designated perception into the life-style and tool constructions of North Korea's best elite. the story, finishing together with his personal dramatic get away, depicts Jang's sluggish metamorphosis from overall conformist, to severe doubter, to enemy of the country. pricey chief is a compelling tale instructed with the beauty and poetry of the Orient: a page-turner that may switch the best way the area sees this enigmatic country."— Susanne Koelbl, Der Spiegel

"Gripping."— David Pilling, monetary Times

"Mr Jang makes no declare to talk from inside of Kim Jong Il’s closest circle. yet as a poet laureate, at the within the Kims’ mythmaking computing device, he sheds new gentle either at the dynasty’s ideological underpinnings and on what he calls 'the tantrums of a defeated man'."— The Economist

"A awesome tale of fight and survival."— Larry Getlen, the hot York Post

"Much of the e-book is a thriller-like narrative of Jang’s 2004 get away into the netherworld of unlawful North Korean refugees in China, the place he drifts, penniless and hunted via the police, throughout the glittering wealth and hard-edged anomie of contemporary chinese language towns, depending on the kindness of random strangers. Jang’s nearly impossibly dramatic tale is among the top depictions but of North Korea’s nightmare."— Publishers Weekly

Jang Jin-sung is a former poet laureate for North Korean chief Kim Jong-il. because leaving the rustic he has turn into a bestselling writer and broadly solicited commentator on North Korea. He has been presented the Rex Warner Literary Prize and skim his poetry at London’s Cultural Olympiad in 2012. He now lives in South Korea and is editor in leader of latest concentration overseas, an authoritative site reporting on North Korea.

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Dear Leader: poet, spy, escapee — a look inside North Korea

"Jang Jin-sung demonstrates specific perception into the approach to life and tool buildings of North Korea's most sensible elite. the story, finishing together with his personal dramatic get away, depicts Jang's sluggish metamorphosis from overall conformist, to severe doubter, to enemy of the country. expensive chief is a compelling tale instructed with the beauty and poetry of the Orient: a page-turner that might switch the way in which the realm sees this enigmatic kingdom.

Additional info for Dear Leader: poet, spy, escapee — a look inside North Korea

Sample text

Because of our identity as inhabitants of the outside world, the resources we received—different each time—came from the outside world. They were taken from humanitarian materials donated by the UN and the rest of the international community, as well as from South Korean NGOs and religious organizations. In the eleven-pound packages that we received, there would be rice from the United States, cheese, butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, and even underwear and socks. Sometimes, there were cookies and sweets, or milk powder intended for babies.

A moment later, I absorb the fact that I am on a boat for the first time in my life. It accelerates recklessly, seemingly intent on tossing me into the waves. I lean forward to hold on to the railing, but a soldier suddenly puts his arms around me from behind and pins down my hands. A shiver runs down my spine. I tell myself that the closer we get to the Dear Leader, the stronger must be our show of faith in him. I glance around and see that each of the six other passengers is similarly held in place by a soldier acting as a human safety belt.

The North Korean version of socialism, founded as it is on the maintenance of absolute institutional unity, regards pluralism and individual determination as its greatest enemy. The Workers’ Party has therefore been active and diligent in psychological warfare operations aimed at Koreans in both the North and the South for over half a century. Entrusted to this most sanctified mission, I worked in Section 5 (Literature), Division 19 (Poetry) of Office 101. In spite of the uncanny and unintended echo of Orwell’s Room 101, this office was, ironically, so named precisely in order to avoid any hint of the nature of our work.

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