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North Korea Undercover: Inside the World's Most Secret State

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Description

An authoritative and, at times, frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society.
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching: It is Orwell's 1984 made reality.

Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea, having entered the country undercover, posing as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics.

Huge factories with no staff or electricity; hospitals with no patients; uniformed child soldiers; and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ—the DeMilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins—all framed by the relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent.

Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today, examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 20, 2015 – In 2013, BBC reporter Sweeney traveled to North Korea, posing as a university professor on an eight-day tour with a group from the London School of Economics. Drawing on surreptitiously captured footage, the official tour video, firsthand experiences, and interviews, he constructed a documentary for BBC Panorama. In this enlightening, often irreverent companion volume, he goes into further detail about his time in the isolated country and how it evolved into its current state. He begins by comparing the country to "a detective story where you stumble across a corpse in the library, a smoking gun beside it, and the corpse gets up and says that's no gun and it isn't smoking and this isn't a library." This analogy serves as an apt introduction to North Korea's bizarre contradictions, and particularly its seemingly brainwashed population. The book is an outsider's rare look into a mysterious and terrifying place ruled and ruined by three generations of tyrants, a land experiencing a "living death." One of Sweeney's primary contentions is that "Kim Jong Un's talk of nuclear war is a confidence trick... blinding us to a human rights tragedy on an immense scale." This account is shocking and unsettling, but also darkly entertaining.

Customer Reviews

Interesting story badly executed

The book is entertainingly written, but it is full of typos (e-edition) which are distracting and annoying. Clean up the text.

North Korea Undercover: Inside the World's Most Secret State
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Jul 15, 2015
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books
  • Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings