Dear Leader Poet Spy Escapee A Look Inside North Korea review Ü eBook or Kindle ePUB

Dear Leader Poet Spy Escapee A Look Inside North Korea

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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 This book completely blew my mind Despite having to struggle with the names and acronyms I couldn't put it down This political autobiography of a poet brainwashed to use language only to serve the dictatorship is way a long way from my usual literary tree but this demands suspension of disbelief just as any fairy story might do It opens the closed and cruel institution of dictatorship leaving the uestion of whether humanity will ever get past crowd behaviours and primal fears which render us vulnerable again and again and again to madmen Think Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro or The Handmaid's Tale Brave New World or 1984 but for real I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to pry into the topic of powerful closed institutions like prisons religions or tyrannical states Child of His Heart render us vulnerable again and again and again to madmen Think Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro or The Handmaid's Tale Brave New World or 1984 but for A Cowboy of Her Own real I highly The Cowboy's Baby Bond recommend it to anyone who likes to pry into the topic of powerful closed institutions like prisons Cop Next Door religions or tyrannical states

review Ç eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Jang Jin-sung

Friend goes missing Jang Jin sung must flee for his lifeNever 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 regi Actual rating 35 starsI've read several nonfiction books purporting to explain life inside North Korea but only one other by an actual defector That book was Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West It was the story of Shin Dong hyuk as told to American journalist Blaine Harden who actually wrote the book My review of Escape from Camp 14 included these commentsAn interesting but curiously flat and skimpy retelling of a North Korean prison camp escapee's story Something is missing here I expected a dramatic compelling story And this one is necessarily full of holes because the escapee shares only the basic outline of his tale with the American journalist who tells it He never really opens up and my reaction is one of suspicion not of the journalist but of the escapee himself He says any other prisoner would have done what he did ratting out his mother and brother to prison guards and then watching their execution He says he felt nothing that he did what he was trained to do And yet he knows what he did was shameful and wrong because for months afterward he lied about it We are told that no one not one person ever has escaped from this particular prison camp Yet members of his own imprisoned family almost casually it seems planned an escape and his own escape and travel to China sounds suspiciously easy he lingered in the village next to the camp for several days and no one came looking for him Give me a break These parts of his story ring falseThis defector's tale is different One it was written by the defector Jang Jin Sung himself Two the defector was an educated man a party cadre and a high level member of North Korea's leadership one of the admitted a man who had not only met the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il but who lived and worked under the Dear Leader's personal protection as his poet laureate In addition to his duties as state poet he worked in the only North Korean party agency with access to information from the outside world He was remarkably well placed a trusted inner circle functionary probably one of the most high value defectors ever to escape the regimeAnd three there was nothing suspiciously easy about Jang Jin Sung's escape I have always understood that North Korea has agents in the Chinese border region placed there to capture escapees and that China takes an active role in helping NK track them down What I didn't know was just how extensive the dragnet is between NK and China it is incredibly difficult for escapees to evade capture in the border regions and make it all the way to the South Korean embassy in Beijing and even there hundreds of miles from NK many are captured and turned back over to NK agents yet thousands of incredibly brave and determined escapees have made their way to freedomJang Jin Sung almost didn't He escaped along with a friend another member of the inner circle As soon as they crossed over the frozen Tumen river into China the North Korean government alerted Chinese authorities they were wanted for murder and they had to evade an intense manhunt They were able to get limited and begrudging help from a few ethnic Korean Chinese citizens but generally faced nothing but distrust and threats to turn them in Jang Jin Sung's friend was eventually cornered jumping off a cliff to his death to avoid capture Thirty seven days after crossing into China Jang Jin Sung finally was able to contact a South Korean journalist working in Beijing a man who immediately realized the value of what Jang Jin Sung knew and put him in touch with South Korean intelligence agents who were able to sneak him past Chinese guards into the embassy in BeijingThe escape evasion portion of the book is one cliff hanger after another guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat Eually riveting is what Jang Jin Sung reveals about the inner workings of NK's leadership how Kim Jong Il about to be passed over as Kim Il Sung's dynastic successor worked behind the scenes to elevate the party over the military creating the personality cult of Kim Il Sung while at the same time making the Great Leader a figurehead and himself the Dear Leader the actual ruler pulling all the strands from the center of the web He explains how Kim Jong Il's feckless mismanagement created the famine of the late 1990s; how NK's apparently self destructive strategies in dealing with the outside world and South Korea asking for aid while at the same time provoking military confrontations with the South Korean Navy were perceived by the leadership as the smart thing to do; how NK internal propaganda and almost all the articles about the outside world in the NK press are wholly written from scratch by anonymous men working for various NK propaganda agenciesWhat drove this well placed comfortable member of the inner circle to defect A vacation visit to his home town at the height of the famine and the sudden realization that everything about North Korea was a lie Or so he says Yes I don't fully trust this defector either I have to assume he whitewashes his own actions both before and after his defection and that we're hearing only those parts of the story he wants us to hear One detail that sticks with me he had been living with his parents before his defection and although he iterates several examples of NK's official guilt by association policy wherein entire families are arrested and sent to prison camps for crimes committed by just one member of the family he never mentions the fate of his mother and father never speculates about what may have happened to them after his escapeThe contrast between what this defector says about how the government of North Korea works and the speculations offered by outsiders in those other nonfiction books I mentioned at the beginning of this review is a stark one Outsiders truly cannot understand how things really work in that benighted country What this guy says rings true Of course I don't know whether or not it is true but once he made it to Seoul he was debriefed for eight months and North Korea has openly said he's marked for assassination Those are to me persuasive arguments in his favorIf you're the least bit interested in North Korea this book needs to be on your reading list Redeeming Gabriel rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and Firefly Summer repressive Dangerous Curves regi Actual Dangerous Memories rating 35 starsI've Sabor De Sedução read several nonfiction books purporting to explain life inside North Korea but only one other by an actual defector That book was Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West It was the story of Shin Dong hyuk as told to American journalist Blaine Harden who actually wrote the book My Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess review of Escape from Camp 14 included these commentsAn interesting but curiously flat and skimpy Windows 2000 Administrator's G retelling of a North Korean prison camp escapee's story Something is missing here I expected a dramatic compelling story And this one is necessarily full of holes because the escapee shares only the basic outline of his tale with the American journalist who tells it He never Vows Made in Secret really opens up and my Daddy's Little Matchmakers reaction is one of suspicion not of the journalist but of the escapee himself He says any other prisoner would have done what he did The Santangeli Marriage ratting out his mother and brother to prison guards and then watching their execution He says he felt nothing that he did what he was trained to do And yet he knows what he did was shameful and wrong because for months afterward he lied about it We are told that no one not one person ever has escaped from this particular prison camp Yet members of his own imprisoned family almost casually it seems planned an escape and his own escape and travel to China sounds suspiciously easy he lingered in the village next to the camp for several days and no one came looking for him Give me a break These parts of his story Plattenbaugefühle ring falseThis defector's tale is different One it was written by the defector Jang Jin Sung himself Two the defector was an educated man a party cadre and a high level member of North Korea's leadership one of the admitted a man who had not only met the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il but who lived and worked under the Dear Leader's personal protection as his poet laureate In addition to his duties as state poet he worked in the only North Korean party agency with access to information from the outside world He was Redwing's Lady remarkably well placed a trusted inner circle functionary probably one of the most high value defectors ever to escape the DANGEROUS ALLIANCE regimeAnd three there was nothing suspiciously easy about Jang Jin Sung's escape I have always understood that North Korea has agents in the Chinese border Shadow Lover region placed there to capture escapees and that China takes an active The Dare (Risking It All role in helping NK track them down What I didn't know was just how extensive the dragnet is between NK and China it is incredibly difficult for escapees to evade capture in the border A Texas Brides Collection regions and make it all the way to the South Korean embassy in Beijing and even there hundreds of miles from NK many are captured and turned back over to NK agents yet thousands of incredibly brave and determined escapees have made their way to freedomJang Jin Sung almost didn't He escaped along with a friend another member of the inner circle As soon as they crossed over the frozen Tumen Red Letter Nights river into China the North Korean government alerted Chinese authorities they were wanted for murder and they had to evade an intense manhunt They were able to get limited and begrudging help from a few ethnic Korean Chinese citizens but generally faced nothing but distrust and threats to turn them in Jang Jin Sung's friend was eventually cornered jumping off a cliff to his death to avoid capture Thirty seven days after crossing into China Jang Jin Sung finally was able to contact a South Korean journalist working in Beijing a man who immediately The Dangerous Debutante realized the value of what Jang Jin Sung knew and put him in touch with South Korean intelligence agents who were able to sneak him past Chinese guards into the embassy in BeijingThe escape evasion portion of the book is one cliff hanger after another guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat Eually Those Cassabaw Days riveting is what Jang Jin Sung Redemption Ranch reveals about the inner workings of NK's leadership how Kim Jong Il about to be passed over as Kim Il Sung's dynastic successor worked behind the scenes to elevate the party over the military creating the personality cult of Kim Il Sung while at the same time making the Great Leader a figurehead and himself the Dear Leader the actual Dangerous Tidings ruler pulling all the strands from the center of the web He explains how Kim Jong Il's feckless mismanagement created the famine of the late 1990s; how NK's apparently self destructive strategies in dealing with the outside world and South Korea asking for aid while at the same time provoking military confrontations with the South Korean Navy were perceived by the leadership as the smart thing to do; how NK internal propaganda and almost all the articles about the outside world in the NK press are wholly written from scratch by anonymous men working for various NK propaganda agenciesWhat drove this well placed comfortable member of the inner circle to defect A vacation visit to his home town at the height of the famine and the sudden Red Carpet Christmas realization that everything about North Korea was a lie Or so he says Yes I don't fully trust this defector either I have to assume he whitewashes his own actions both before and after his defection and that we're hearing only those parts of the story he wants us to hear One detail that sticks with me he had been living with his parents before his defection and although he iterates several examples of NK's official guilt by association policy wherein entire families are arrested and sent to prison camps for crimes committed by just one member of the family he never mentions the fate of his mother and father never speculates about what may have happened to them after his escapeThe contrast between what this defector says about how the government of North Korea works and the speculations offered by outsiders in those other nonfiction books I mentioned at the beginning of this A Texas Tale review is a stark one Outsiders truly cannot understand how things More Peas, Thank You really work in that benighted country What this guy says Million-Dollar Love-Child rings true Of course I don't know whether or not it is true but once he made it to Seoul he was debriefed for eight months and North Korea has openly said he's marked for assassination Those are to me persuasive arguments in his favorIf you're the least bit interested in North Korea this book needs to be on your One in a Billion reading list

Jang Jin-sung Ñ 3 free download

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 appearAs North I really wanted to like this book a lot Anyone who gets out of North Korea is entitled to all the indulgence I can afford But this one is just too fairy tale like Some of Jang's memories are filled with descriptions like He looked at me with a smile and the two of us scampered off like playful childrenOne too many such descriptions and it all began to sound fake One also has to give strong consideration to the author's callousness in not understanding the dangerous predicament those who were in a position to help him found themselves in He seems to think that his own freedom is of paramount importance but damn those people who didn't help him In fact after Jang gets to South Korea and freedom he makes a casual inuiry as to the well being of some of the Chinese who put their lives at risk by helping him Some cannot be reached Oh well casualties of Jang's uest for personal freedom Much as I enjoyed the rollicking story these things bother me and detract from the uality of the narrative Chaos in the Capital City rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea a high Cowboy at the Crossroads 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 Cowboy Brigade 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 appearAs North I A Cowboy's Pursuit really wanted to like this book a lot Anyone who gets out of North Korea is entitled to all the indulgence I can afford But this one is just too fairy tale like Some of Jang's memories are filled with descriptions like He looked at me with a smile and the two of us scampered off like playful childrenOne too many such descriptions and it all began to sound fake One also has to give strong consideration to the author's callousness in not understanding the dangerous predicament those who were in a position to help him found themselves in He seems to think that his own freedom is of paramount importance but damn those people who didn't help him In fact after Jang gets to South Korea and freedom he makes a casual inuiry as to the well being of some of the Chinese who put their lives at A Cowboy Summer risk by helping him Some cannot be Showdown with the Sheriff reached Oh well casualties of Jang's uest for personal freedom Much as I enjoyed the The Conqueror's Lady / The Mercenary's Bride / His Enemy's Daughter rollicking story these things bother me and detract from the uality of the narrative


10 thoughts on “Dear Leader Poet Spy Escapee A Look Inside North Korea

  1. says:

    I like to read speculative fiction – science fiction and fantasy – and this may as well be The socio political situation described in North Korea is as alien as something dreamed up by George Orwell or Philip K DickThe author was a state sponsored poet – actually a high ranking member of the controlling workers party – and got to see behind the wizard’s curtain – realizing finally that all the propaganda about “Dear Leader” the moniker used for the ruling Kim was a load of horses He decided to leave defect and this is his story as a fugitive from this ridiculously oppressive regimeJang Jin sung left North Korea and went NORTH into communist China So I had to ask “How bad is communist North Korea when the guy defects to another communist country?” Pretty damn bad Poverty starvation and rampant almost surreal corruption at the highest levels Orwell’s comments in Animal Farm about some animals being “ eual than others” applies here as high ranking party members get special treatment while the working class I thought they were ALL workers??? eat GRAINS of rice and that’s not hyperbole that was one of the anecdotes he sharedThis book also made me think about the vast canyon like divide between the political climate in the United States and North Korea Ideologically I am a libertarian but politically I am apathetic as I see no viable party that represents my interests I can choose to ignore politics participate enthusiastically or be a hate mongering cynic – or any combination These poor North Koreans have somehow bought into a generations long mass hypnosis They seem to actually believe Dear Leader is some kind of god on earthCheck out this National Geographic documentary about life in North Korea and how brainwashed these poor folks are I could not imagine in my wildest dreams some western politician getting away with even a fraction of the shenanigans these North Korean “leaders” skip on with a free pass A politician here makes a statement and there is a team of fact checkers dissecting and commenting upon every misuote and condemning every misrepresentation to the nth degree And that is not even considering the gross civil rights violations and the slapstick joke of due process they have over thereThroughout his escape and fugitive narrative Jang looks back to provide a history of North Korea and the development of the Kim family cult of personality Here is another example of the great differences between North Korea and most of the rest of the world While political leaders and monarchs may be popular or treated with respect the North Korean fervor towards the Leader heightened and maintained by rigid military etiuette throughout society seems completely foreign and unnatural This is demi god worship and in the twenty first centuryBut at least in North Korea might makes right Kim and his ilk have the guns dogs and other methods of public execution and various and sundry means of internal intimidation I write with levity because the situation this book describes is so off the charts bad that I must either laugh or cry Jang Jin sung has given us literally at the risk of his life this glimpse into hell on earth Riveting


  2. says:

    This is an amazing book providing very intriguing insights into the life of the most bizarre and secretive regime in the world North Korea This regime being the only remaining time warped expression of a Stalinist state in its purest and most paradoxically form has always held a great fascination for me I never visited Real Socialism countries so I missed the historical boat now that none such states are left apart from North Korea I was very attracted to the idea of visiting North Korea against my wife's opinion but I must admit that after reading this book I have seriously reconsidered it The author of this book is one of the many defectors who escaped from this uniue country in the last several years with the difference that he being a very high ranked official of the regime did have access to the inner workings and secrets of this regime The picture depicted by the author is of a bizarre common sense defying regime presenting a mixture of Stalinist feudal Orwellian ultra national militaristic traits where everything is devoted to the personality cult of the Dear Leader a cult resembling in some parts to that of some extreme religious sects To be completely balanced it is difficult to critiue the legitimacy of some of the claims by the author who after all had a personal vested interest in presenting this regime in its worst possible light; however while there may well possibly be some exaggeration many of his claims have been independently confirmed and are also eually detailed by other defectors And if 50% of the facts narrated in this book are true then the North Korean regime appears pretty terrifying to me But the reasons why I so enjoyed this book are not just related to the morbid fascination I have for this regime the book is very well written a real page turner And I loved how the author has intertwined the description of the North Korean regime with his personal feelings experience and amazing travel to escape his country There are several moving moments and there is a sense of humanity and truthfulness that make this book a very enjoyable experience Highly recommended


  3. says:

    I really wanted to like this book a lot Anyone who gets out of North Korea is entitled to all the indulgence I can afford But this one is just too fairy tale like Some of Jang's memories are filled with descriptions like He looked at me with a smile and the two of us scampered off like playful childrenOne too many such descriptions and it all began to sound fake One also has to give strong consideration to the author's callousness in not understanding the dangerous predicament those who were in a position to help him found themselves in He seems to think that his own freedom is of paramount importance but damn those people who didn't help him In fact after Jang gets to South Korea and freedom he makes a casual inuiry as to the well being of some of the Chinese who put their lives at risk by helping him Some cannot be reached Oh well casualties of Jang's uest for personal freedom Much as I enjoyed the rollicking story these things bother me and detract from the uality of the narrative


  4. says:

    This book completely blew my mind Despite having to struggle with the names and acronyms I couldn't put it down This political autobiography of a poet brainwashed to use language only to serve the dictatorship is way a long way from my usual literary tree but this demands suspension of disbelief just as any fairy story might do It opens the closed and cruel institution of dictatorship leaving the uestion of whether humanity will ever get past crowd behaviours and primal fears which render us vulnerable again and again and again to madmen Think Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro or The Handmaid's Tale Brave New World or 1984 but for real I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to pry into the topic of powerful closed institutions like prisons religions or tyrannical states


  5. says:

    I had thought that after reading the terrifying inimitable and heart stopping “Nothing to Envy” that there wouldn’t by any shocks for me left in the world of North Korea I felt that I was prepared mentally if not emotionally to read once again about the horrors faced by North Koreans however I was completely wrong Jang was an elite one who was personally favored by the Kim family who had access to state secrets such as North Korea abducting citizens from other countries to indoctrinate them or purposely sending attractive North Korean women out to become pregnant by men who are ethnically diverse so as to have better spies in a few generations and who was educated which lent to a very thoughtful and poignant biography about his escape from North KoreaJang had been strictly kept in the capital of Pyongyang and so it wasn’t until revisiting his home town did he truly understand the desperation of people to survive His old neighbors had starved to death the trees were stripped bare of bark and foliage but he still received his party rations in Pyongyang which mostly came from relief boxes dropped from other countries Shortly after he made his flight to China and the journey was just heartbreaking He takes you on the same emotional journey that he went on the realization that he was helping an evil regime the desperation to reach South Korea and try and spread the word Let him take you on this journey Learn about the most secretive country in the world the horrors that the people face the human rights depravities that they have become accustomed to Recommend for everyone along with Nothing to Envy


  6. says:

    I am not sure what to make of this book It reads like an over the top adventure yarn and I have no doubt that escaping North Korea is a harrowing ordeal or that the author experienced something very much like what is described Nor do I doubt that the author really was a member of Kim Jong il's inner circle who worked for the UFD as a poet and author But outside those broad outlines I am not sure how much of the book to believeFor starters Jang Jin sung is not the author's real name it is his pen name as he states toward the end I understand that this is in part to protect friends and family members who remain back in North Korea who would be subject to terrible reprisals if his real identity were known But surely the North Koreans must know who he is after all how many defecting poet laureates could there be? In fact he recounts that he is threatened regularly with assassination by the North Koreans so his family must in fact be very well known to the North Korean security forces Then there is the curious fact mentioned almost in passing that one of his relatives is the representative to the Middle East for North Korean arms dealing who annually gave a 10 million dollar gift to Kim Jong il and showers his family members back in the North with Mercedes Benz automobiles Did this strike anyone other than me as bizarre? Finally there is the statement by the translator regretting that the whole story with all its details could not be told and that the truth would emerge over time I am paraphrasing So my basic uestion is what was omitted what was made up and what was really true?Make no mistake I understand the author's need for discretion and I am not being critical I read this book almost straight through it was that compelling especially the details about working for the UFD life in North Korea and in particular his meetings with Kim Jung il I am rating this four stars and I recommend that anyone with an interest in North Korea give it a look


  7. says:

    Actual rating 35 starsI've read several nonfiction books purporting to explain life inside North Korea but only one other by an actual defector That book was Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West It was the story of Shin Dong hyuk as told to American journalist Blaine Harden who actually wrote the book My review of Escape from Camp 14 included these commentsAn interesting but curiously flat and skimpy retelling of a North Korean prison camp escapee's story Something is missing here I expected a dramatic compelling story And this one is necessarily full of holes because the escapee shares only the basic outline of his tale with the American journalist who tells it He never really opens up and my reaction is one of suspicion not of the journalist but of the escapee himself He says any other prisoner would have done what he did ratting out his mother and brother to prison guards and then watching their execution He says he felt nothing that he did what he was trained to do And yet he knows what he did was shameful and wrong because for months afterward he lied about it We are told that no one not one person ever has escaped from this particular prison camp Yet members of his own imprisoned family almost casually it seems planned an escape and his own escape and travel to China sounds suspiciously easy he lingered in the village next to the camp for several days and no one came looking for him? Give me a break These parts of his story ring falseThis defector's tale is different One it was written by the defector Jang Jin Sung himself Two the defector was an educated man a party cadre and a high level member of North Korea's leadership one of the admitted a man who had not only met the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il but who lived and worked under the Dear Leader's personal protection as his poet laureate In addition to his duties as state poet he worked in the only North Korean party agency with access to information from the outside world He was remarkably well placed a trusted inner circle functionary probably one of the most high value defectors ever to escape the regimeAnd three there was nothing suspiciously easy about Jang Jin Sung's escape I have always understood that North Korea has agents in the Chinese border region placed there to capture escapees and that China takes an active role in helping NK track them down What I didn't know was just how extensive the dragnet is between NK and China it is incredibly difficult for escapees to evade capture in the border regions and make it all the way to the South Korean embassy in Beijing and even there hundreds of miles from NK many are captured and turned back over to NK agents yet thousands of incredibly brave and determined escapees have made their way to freedomJang Jin Sung almost didn't He escaped along with a friend another member of the inner circle As soon as they crossed over the frozen Tumen river into China the North Korean government alerted Chinese authorities they were wanted for murder and they had to evade an intense manhunt They were able to get limited and begrudging help from a few ethnic Korean Chinese citizens but generally faced nothing but distrust and threats to turn them in Jang Jin Sung's friend was eventually cornered jumping off a cliff to his death to avoid capture Thirty seven days after crossing into China Jang Jin Sung finally was able to contact a South Korean journalist working in Beijing a man who immediately realized the value of what Jang Jin Sung knew and put him in touch with South Korean intelligence agents who were able to sneak him past Chinese guards into the embassy in BeijingThe escape evasion portion of the book is one cliff hanger after another guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat Eually riveting is what Jang Jin Sung reveals about the inner workings of NK's leadership how Kim Jong Il about to be passed over as Kim Il Sung's dynastic successor worked behind the scenes to elevate the party over the military creating the personality cult of Kim Il Sung while at the same time making the Great Leader a figurehead and himself the Dear Leader the actual ruler pulling all the strands from the center of the web He explains how Kim Jong Il's feckless mismanagement created the famine of the late 1990s; how NK's apparently self destructive strategies in dealing with the outside world and South Korea asking for aid while at the same time provoking military confrontations with the South Korean Navy were perceived by the leadership as the smart thing to do; how NK internal propaganda and almost all the articles about the outside world in the NK press are wholly written from scratch by anonymous men working for various NK propaganda agenciesWhat drove this well placed comfortable member of the inner circle to defect? A vacation visit to his home town at the height of the famine and the sudden realization that everything about North Korea was a lie Or so he says Yes I don't fully trust this defector either I have to assume he whitewashes his own actions both before and after his defection and that we're hearing only those parts of the story he wants us to hear One detail that sticks with me he had been living with his parents before his defection and although he iterates several examples of NK's official guilt by association policy wherein entire families are arrested and sent to prison camps for crimes committed by just one member of the family he never mentions the fate of his mother and father never speculates about what may have happened to them after his escapeThe contrast between what this defector says about how the government of North Korea works and the speculations offered by outsiders in those other nonfiction books I mentioned at the beginning of this review is a stark one Outsiders truly cannot understand how things really work in that benighted country What this guy says rings true Of course I don't know whether or not it is true but once he made it to Seoul he was debriefed for eight months and North Korea has openly said he's marked for assassination Those are to me persuasive arguments in his favorIf you're the least bit interested in North Korea this book needs to be on your reading list


  8. says:

    The next day after I finished reading this book Kim Jong Nam was assassinated in Malaysia An event which tally with the account inside the book on how the worker party purge its own people for their struggle for powerThe book was written very much like a novel One of my friend drop off halfway reading it saying that it must not be true I can't find a proof that the account was fake so as for me it should be true unless proven otherwiseJang story wake something inside me that is above all we are just human Many people along his journey for freedom have help him feed him provide shelter as they see him as a fellow human being in need of help The pain and suffering from a brutal ideology with political power reminds me of the writing of Anne FrankThey all remind us that above all we are all the same A fellow human being


  9. says:

    I'm divided in how I feel about this book On the one hand hearing a perspective from a high ranking insider with several brief encounters with Kim Jong Il was very interesting I wished to hear about the life of the privileged in the regime but oh well Throughout the book I did find myself uestioning how much was embellished Maybe embellished isn't the world but perhaps whitewashed is better Jang always portrays himself as a morally courageous but I'm left wondering It's a memoir so one has to expect choice parts to make for the best story for the author are to be told So overall interesting look inside of North Korea with some parts reading like a bit of a poetic license was taken


  10. says:

    Only few books can make me stay awake for than 24 hours when in the next morning I have to wake up early for university and Dear Leader is one of them I couldn't put it down no matter what and it even made me cry at five in the morning I already had some information about what goes on in North Korea of oppression but this book gave me lot of new information that at several times left me with a dropped jaw and anger Although I am not that much happy where I live and war or bombings happen from years to years I really feel so lucky and privileged that I was born here and not in North Korea The worth thing ever is living a life with no freedom I hope with all of my heart that one day the people of North Korea will know freedom