The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Author: Chol-hwan Kang
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465011049
Release Date: 2005-08-24
Genre: History

Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Author: Chol-hwan Kang
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465004713
Release Date: 2005-08-24
Genre: History

North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. New edition with a new preface by the author.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Author: Chol-hwan Kang
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9780465004713
Release Date: 2005-08-24
Genre: History

North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. New edition with a new preface by the author.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Author: Kang Chol-Hwan
Publisher: Atlantic Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780857895387
Release Date: 2012-12-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A magnificent, harrowing testimony to the voiceless victims of North Korea. Kang Chol-Hwan is the first survivor of a North Korean concentration camp to escape the 'hermit kingdom' and tell his story to the world. This memoir reveals the human suffering in his camp, with its forced labour, frequent public executions and near-starvation rations. Kang eventually escaped to South Korea via China to give testimony to the hardships and atrocities that constitute the lives of the thousands of people still detained in the gulags today. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this story of one young man's personal suffering finally gives eye-witness proof to this neglected chapter of modern history.

Long Road Home

Author: Suk-Young Kim
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231519281
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Kim Yong shares his harrowing account of life in a labor camp& mdash;a singularly despairing form of torture carried out by the secret state. Although it is known that gulags exist in North Korea, little information is available about their organization and conduct, for prisoners rarely escape both incarceration and the country alive. Long Road Home shares the remarkable story of one such survivor, a former military official who spent six years in a gulag and experienced firsthand the brutality of an unconscionable regime. As a lieutenant colonel in the North Korean army, Kim Yong enjoyed unprecedented privilege in a society that closely monitored its citizens. He owned an imported car and drove it freely throughout the country. He also encountered corruption at all levels, whether among party officials or Japanese trade partners, and took note of the illicit benefits that were awarded to some and cruelly denied to others. When accusations of treason stripped Kim Yong of his position, the loose distinction between those who prosper and those who suffer under Kim Jong-il became painfully clear. Kim Yong was thrown into a world of violence and terror, condemned to camp No. 14 in Hamkyeong province, North Korea's most notorious labor camp. As he worked a constant shift 2,400 feet underground, daylight became Kim's new luxury; as the months wore on, he became intimately acquainted with political prisoners, subhuman camp guards, and an apocalyptic famine that killed millions. After years of meticulous planning, and with the help of old friends, Kim escaped and came to the United States via China, Mongolia, and South Korea. Presented here for the first time in its entirety, his story not only testifies to the atrocities being committed behind North Korea's wall of silence, but it also illuminates the daily struggle to maintain dignity and integrity in the face of unbelievable odds. Like the work of Solzhenitsyn, this rare portrait tells a story of resilience as it reveals the dark forms of oppression, torture, and ideological terror at work in our world today.

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader

Author: Bradley K. Martin
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1429906995
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Genre: History

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader offers in-depth portraits of North Korea's two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. Lifting North Korea's curtain of self-imposed isolation, this book will take readers inside a society, that to a Westerner, will appear to be from another planet. Subsisting on a diet short on food grains and long on lies, North Koreans have been indoctrinated from birth to follow unquestioningly a father-son team of megalomaniacs. To North Koreans, the Kims are more than just leaders. Kim Il-Sung is the country's leading novelist, philosopher, historian, educator, designer, literary critic, architect, general, farmer, and ping-pong trainer. Radios are made so they can only be tuned to the official state frequency. "Newspapers" are filled with endless columns of Kim speeches and propaganda. And instead of Christmas, North Koreans celebrate Kim's birthday--and he presents each child a present, just like Santa. The regime that the Kim Dynasty has built remains technically at war with the United States nearly a half century after the armistice that halted actual fighting in the Korean War. This fascinating and complete history takes full advantage of a great deal of source material that has only recently become available (some from archives in Moscow and Beijing), and brings the reader up to the tensions of the current day. For as this book will explain, North Korea appears more and more to be the greatest threat among the Axis of Evil countries--with some defector testimony warning that Kim Jong-Il has enough chemical weapons to wipe out the entire population of South Korea.

Dear Leader

Author: Jang Jin-sung
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476766560
Release Date: 2015-01-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

"In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom. "The General will now enter the room." Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear... As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life. Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose; told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime"--

Over the Line

Author: Chuck Downs
Publisher: American Enterprise Institute
ISBN: 0844740292
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Business & Economics

In this book, North Korea's strategy emerges from the broad sweep of its negotiating record--from the armistice negotiations, the discussions that were incidental to implementation of the armistice, the talks that resolved crises instigated by North Korea, the dialogue between South Korea and North Korea, and the multilateral negotiations to force North Korea to abide by its international nuclear commitments. Patterns emerge from this history, and the strategy this book exposes is intriguingly consistent and well designed. Using previously unpublished accounts, Over the Line brings together for the first time the full record of North Korea's negotiations, describes motives and objectives, and assesses negotiating tactics. Chuck Downs draws important conclusions from the North's manipulation of international talks and cautions policymakers to be alert to the regime's tactics. As a guide to negotiating with North Korea, Over the Line will provide policymakers with important background on how to deal with the rogue regime. The author explores the role of espionage and infiltration, deception and brinkmanship, and provides an alarming prediction of the future course of North Korea's relations with the United States and it allies.

The Reluctant Communist

Author: Charles Robert Jenkins
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520259998
Release Date: 2009-03-01
Genre: History

Features the story of the United States sergeant who defected to the North Korean army in 1965 and his subsequent forty years as a political prisoner there.

A Thousand Miles to Freedom

Author: Eunsun Kim
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466870888
Release Date: 2015-07-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

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 was in danger of the same. 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, 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.

The Cleanest Race

Author: B.R. Myers
Publisher: Melville House
ISBN: 9781935554974
Release Date: 2011-02-01
Genre: History

Understanding North Korea through its propaganda What do the North Koreans really believe? How do they see themselves and the world around them? Here B.R. Myers, a North Korea analyst and a contributing editor of The Atlantic, presents the first full-length study of the North Korean worldview. Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, romance novels and other artifacts of the personality cult, Myers analyzes each of the country’s official myths in turn—from the notion of Koreans’ unique moral purity, to the myth of an America quaking in terror of “the Iron General.” In a concise but groundbreaking historical section, Myers also traces the origins of this official culture back to the Japanese fascist thought in which North Korea’s first ideologues were schooled. What emerges is a regime completely unlike the West’s perception of it. This is neither a bastion of Stalinism nor a Confucian patriarchy, but a paranoid nationalist, “military-first” state on the far right of the ideological spectrum. Since popular support for the North Korean regime now derives almost exclusively from pride in North Korean military might, Pyongyang can neither be cajoled nor bullied into giving up its nuclear program. The implications for US foreign policy—which has hitherto treated North Korea as the last outpost of the Cold War—are as obvious as they are troubling. With North Korea now calling for a “blood reckoning” with the “Yankee jackals,” Myers’s unprecedented analysis could not be more timely. From the Hardcover edition.

North Korea Confidential

Author: Daniel Tudor
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 9781462915125
Release Date: 2015-04-14
Genre: History

**Named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist** Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors. North Korea is one of the most troubled societies on earth. The country's 24 million people live under a violent dictatorship led by a single family, which relentlessly pursues the development of nuclear arms, which periodically incites risky military clashes with the larger, richer, liberal South, and which forces each and every person to play a role in the "theater state" even as it pays little more than lip service to the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority. With this deeply anachronistic system eventually failed in the 1990s, it triggered a famine that decimated the countryside and obliterated the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people. However, it also changed life forever for those who survived. A lawless form of marketization came to replace the iron rice bowl of work in state companies, and the Orwellian mind control of the Korean Workers' Party was replaced for many by dreams of trade and profit. A new North Korea Society was born from the horrors of the era—one that is more susceptible to outside information than ever before with the advent of k-pop and video-carrying USB sticks. This is the North Korean society that is described in this book. In seven fascinating chapters the authors explore what life is actually like in modern North Korea today for the ordinary "man and woman on the street." They interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to bring a startling new insider's view of North Korean society—from members of Pyongyang's ruling families to defectors from different periods and regions, to diplomats and NGOs with years of experience in the country, to cross-border traders from neighboring China, and textual accounts appearing in English, Korean and Chinese sources. The resulting stories reveal the horror as well as the innovation and humor which abound in this fascinating country.

This is Paradise

Author: Hyok Kang
Publisher: Little Brown Uk
ISBN: 0349118655
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

The author describes everyday life in North Korea and his migration to China to seek asylum.

Under the Same Sky

Author: Joseph Kim
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780544373174
Release Date: 2015-06-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A man who escaped the devastating famine in North Korea, despite being abandoned as a boy, tells the story of his survival inside the oppressive country, his escape and subsequent rescue by activists and Christian missionaries and his success in the United States thanks to a newfound faith and courage. 50,000 first printing.