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 Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history.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 Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this story of one young man's personal suffering finally gives eye-witness proof to this neglected chapter of modern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.

Author: Tana French
Publisher: Metaichmio Publications
ISBN: 9786180309751
Release Date: 2016-11-24
Genre: Fiction

Ο αστυνόμος Στίβεν Μόραν περίμενε καιρό να του δοθεί η ευκαιρία να περάσει το κατώφλι του Τμήματος Ανθρωποκτονιών του Δουβλίνου και η επιθυμία του γίνεται πραγματικότητα όταν ένα πρωί η δεκαεξάχρονη Χόλι Μακέι τού φέρνει αυτή τη φωτογραφία. Τη βρήκε αναρτημένη στον Τόπο των Μυστικών, έναν πίνακα όπου τα κορίτσια του ιδιωτικού σχολείου Σεντ Κίλντα μπορούν να αναρτήσουν ανώνυμα τα μυστικά τους. Συνήθως πρόκειται για κουτσομπολιά και κακεντρεχή σχόλια, αλλά σήμερα κάποιος τον χρησιμοποίησε για να πυροδοτήσει εκ νέου την έρευνα για τη δολοφονία του όμορφου και δημοφιλούς Κρις Χάρπερ. Ο Στίβεν θα ενώσει τις δυνάμεις του με τη σκληροτράχηλη αστυνόμο Αντουανέτ Κόνγουεϊ για να βρει τη λύση. Όλα τα στοιχεία οδηγούν τους δύο ντετέκτιβ στην κλίκα της Χόλι και στην κλίκα των αντίζηλών τους καθώς και σε έναν περίπλοκο ιστό σχέσεων και μυστικών που δένουν όλα αυτά τα κορίτσια με τον νεκρό Κρις Χάρπερ. Σε κάθε τους βήμα η πίεση αυξάνεται. Ο κόσμος των έφηβων αυτών κοριτσιών θα αποδειχθεί πολύ πιο επικίνδυνος απ’ ό,τι είχαν ποτέ φανταστεί οι δύο αστυνομικοί…

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.

North Korea

Author: Young W. Kihl
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
ISBN: 0765616386
Release Date: 2006
Genre: History

Featuring contributions by some of the leading experts in Korean studies, this book examines the political content of Kim Jong-Il's regime maintenance, including both the domestic strategy for regime survival and North Korea's foreign relations with South Korea, Russia, China, Japan, and the United States. It considers how and why the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) became a hermit kingdom in the name of Juche (self-reliance) ideology, and the potential for the barriers of isolationism to endure. This up-to-date analysis of the DPRK's domestic and external policy linkages also includes a discussion of the ongoing North Korean nuclear standoff in the region.

Tyranny of the Weak

Author: Charles K. Armstrong
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801468933
Release Date: 2013-06-25
Genre: History

To much of the world, North Korea is an impenetrable mystery, its inner workings unknown and its actions toward the outside unpredictable and frequently provocative. Tyranny of the Weak reveals for the first time the motivations, processes, and effects of North Korea's foreign relations during the Cold War era. Drawing on extensive research in the archives of North Korea's present and former communist allies, including the Soviet Union, China, and East Germany, Charles K. Armstrong tells in vivid detail how North Korea managed its alliances with fellow communist states, maintained a precarious independence in the Sino-Soviet split, attempted to reach out to the capitalist West and present itself as a model for Third World development, and confronted and engaged with its archenemies, the United States and South Korea. From the invasion that set off the Korean War in June 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tyranny of the Weak shows how—despite its objective weakness—North Korea has managed for much of its history to deal with the outside world to its maximum advantage. Insisting on a path of "self-reliance" since the 1950s, North Korea has continually resisted pressure to change from enemies and allies alike. A worldview formed in the crucible of the Korean War and Cold War still maintains a powerful hold on North Korea in the twenty-first century, and understanding those historical forces is as urgent today as it was sixty years ago.

The Real North Korea

Author: Andrei Lankov
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199975846
Release Date: 2013-04-10
Genre: History

Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, Lankov goes on to argue that this cannot continue forever, since the old system is slowly falling apart. In the long run, with or without reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if attempted, will trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on vast expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive.

Nuclear North Korea

Author: Victor D. Cha
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231505338
Release Date: 2003-12-06
Genre: Political Science

The regime of Kim Jong-Il has been called "mad," "rogue," even, by the Wall Street Journal, the equivalent of an "unreformed serial killer." Yet, despite the avalanche of television and print coverage of the Pyongyang government's violation of nuclear nonproliferation agreements and existing scholarly literature on North Korean policy and security, this critical issue remains mired in political punditry and often misleading sound bites. Victor Cha and David Kang step back from the daily newspaper coverage and cable news commentary and offer a reasoned, rational, and logical debate on the nature of the North Korean regime. Coming to the issues from different perspectives -- Kang believes the threat posed by Pyongyang has been inflated and endorses a more open approach, while Cha is more skeptical and advocates harsher measures -- the authors together have written an essential work of clear-eyed reflection and authoritative analysis. They refute a number of misconceptions and challenge much faulty thinking that surrounds the discussion of North Korea, particularly the idea that North Korea is an irrational nation. Cha and Kang contend that however provocative, even deplorable, the Pyongyang government's behavior may at times be, it is not incomprehensible or incoherent. Neither is it "suicidal," they argue, although crisis conditions could escalate to a degree that provokes the North Korean regime to "lash out" as the best and only policy, the unintended consequence of which are suicide and/or collapse. Further, the authors seek to fill the current scholarly and policy gap with a vision for a U.S.-South Korea alliance that is not simply premised on a North Korean threat, not simply derivative of Japan, and not eternally based on an older, "Korean War generation" of supporters. This book uncovers the inherent logic of the politics of the Korean peninsula, presenting an indispensable context for a new policy of engagement. In an intelligent and trenchant debate, the authors look at the implications of a nuclear North Korea for East Asia and U.S. homeland security, rigorously assessing historical and current U.S. policy, and provide a workable framework for constructive policy that should be followed by the United States, Japan, and South Korea if engagement fails to stop North Korean nuclear proliferation.

North Korea

Author: Bruce Cumings
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 9781595587398
Release Date: 2011-05-10
Genre: Political Science

Depicted as an insular and forbidding police state with an “insane” dictator at its helm, North Korea—charter member of Bush’s “Axis of Evil”—is a country the U.S. loves to hate. Now the CIA says it possesses nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as long-range missiles capable of delivering them to America’s West Coast. But, as Bruce Cumings demonstrates in this provocative, lively read, the story of the U.S.-Korea conflict is more complex than our leaders or our news media would have us believe. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Korea, and on declassified government reports, Cumings traces that story, from the brutal Korean War to the present crisis. Harboring no illusions regarding the totalitarian Kim Jong Il regime, Cumings nonetheless insists on a more nuanced approach. The result is both a counter-narrative to the official U.S. and North Korean versions and a fascinating portrayal of North Korea, a country that suffers through foreign invasions, natural disasters, and its own internal contradictions, yet somehow continues to survive.

The Footnotes

Author: Ray Stickle
Publisher: FeetMustFollow Press
ISBN: 9781311712578
Release Date: 2013-09-19
Genre: Fiction

There was the thin man up the beach walking with a noticeable limp, pinched eyeglasses perched on his nose, a pair of white slacks and a billowing white shirt, his Korean face further hidden by a low-worn white sun hat. Galden had been following the man for more than a week. An easy job for a beach bum. But a trip to South Korea soon changes things. Because the thin man on the beach has a history steeped in the shadows of the country he served, the country he fled: North Korea. Galden soon finds himself involved with a sociopathic gangster hell-bent on uncertain ends, an ex-military elite on a mission of vengeance spurred on by his traumatized wife, a beautiful woman who hides her identity behind a slowly crumbling façade, and, perhaps most threatening of all, his own alcohol-addled conscience’s attempt to grapple with hard decisions. How Galden navigates the kidnappings, explosions, and betrayals will determine whether he has an impact on the outcome or becomes nothing more than just a footnote to the affair.

Meltdown

Author: Mike Chinoy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429930233
Release Date: 2010-03-22
Genre: History

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, North Korea's nuclear program was frozen and Kim Jong Il had signaled he was ready to negotiate. Today, North Korea possesses as many as ten nuclear warheads, and possibly the means to provide nuclear material to rogue states or terrorist groups. How did this happen? Drawing on more than two hundred interviews with key players in Washington, Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing, including Colin Powell, John Bolton, and ex–Korean president Kim Dae-jung, as well as insights gained during fourteen trips to Pyongyang, Mike Chinoy takes readers behind the scenes of secret diplomatic meetings, disputed intelligence reports, and Washington turf battles as well as inside the mysterious world of North Korea. Meltdown provides a wealth of new material about a previously opaque series of events that eventually led the Bush administration to abandon confrontation and pursue negotiations, and explains how the diplomatic process collapsed and produced the crisis the Obama administration confronts today.

North Korea

Author: Robert Willoughby
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
ISBN: 9781841624761
Release Date: 2014-07-22
Genre: Travel

A fascinating land on the edge of the world, despite recent tensions North Korea is a country more accessible than commonly believed. Bradt's North Korea guide is still the market leader after over a decade. Whole new parts of the country have opened up, including the cities of Pyongsong and Hoeryong, and the gorgeously scenic landscape around Haeju, while specialist trips on offer now range from cycling, skiing and architectural tours to travelling right across the land by train. Thoroughly updated throughout with updated and completely new maps, an additional eight pages of photographs, and 100s of links to agencies and organisations that analyse or work with the country, the Bradt Guide to North Korea is the most detailed and comprehensive guide available.

North Korea

Author: Tim Beal
Publisher: Pluto Pr
ISBN: 0745320147
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Business & Economics

This book demystifies North Korea by looking beyond the ‘axis of evil’ label.

Nuclear Showdown

Author: Gordon G. Chang
Publisher: Hutchinson Radius
ISBN: 0091799708
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Korea (North)

Asia expert Gordon Chang follows up his controversial success, The Coming Collapse of China, with the first book to discuss the full extent of the North Korean nuclear threat, its origins, international implications, and solutions. The United States is the mightiest nation in history, yet for six decades one of the world's weakest states has challenged the superpower and kept it at bay. Today, that country also threatens to change the course of human events with an act of unimaginable devastation. Nuclear Showdown analyses the failed society that has become the gravest threat to America and international order: North Korea. Chang's insightful book reveals the full horror of the crisis threatening to turn Asia into the world's next battleground where millions could die in hours. How can Washington stop North Korea from taking down the American-led international system? No one seems to have an answer. For more than half a century, policymakers have failed when it comes to subjugating Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il. Nuclear Showdown proposes a solution that can defuse the standoff once and for all.