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

By Jang Jin-sung

"Jang Jin-sung demonstrates specific perception into the approach to life and gear constructions of North Korea's best elite. the story, finishing together with his personal dramatic break out, depicts Jang's sluggish metamorphosis from overall conformist, to severe doubter, to enemy of the nation. expensive chief is a compelling tale advised with the attractiveness and poetry of the Orient: a page-turner that would swap the way in which 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 mild either at the dynasty’s ideological underpinnings and on what he calls 'the tantrums of a defeated man'."— The Economist

"A striking tale of fight and survival."— Larry Getlen, the recent York Post

"Much of the publication is a thriller-like narrative of Jang’s 2004 break out into the netherworld of unlawful North Korean refugees in China, the place he drifts, penniless and hunted through the police, in the course of 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 without doubt one of 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. considering the fact that leaving the rustic he has develop into a bestselling writer and commonly 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 web site reporting on North Korea.

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

Sample text

I close my eyes and count the rhythmic beats, trying hard to fall asleep. The special train dispatched for just seven civilians comes to a halt at around six in the morning. We have stopped at Galma, a First Class station in Gangwon province. When I step down from the carriage, the cool dawn air on my face is refreshing. I realize how tense I’ve been in the presence of the soldiers. Policy Director Chae Chang-guk elbows me as he overtakes me and flashes a grin. He’s like a child, unable to contain his excitement.

Someone wrote it for you, isn’t that right? Don’t even think about lying to me. ” As I begin to panic, the Dear Leader bursts into hearty laughter and punches me on the shoulder. “It’s a compliment, you silly fool. ” I find myself unable to respond, and it doesn’t help that Kim Yong-sun is glaring at me. Before the General takes his seat, Kim Yong-sun finds an opportunity to scold me. “You stupid bastard. You should have thanked him. You should have responded by offering to write poems of loyalty even from your grave,” he hisses into my ear.

When food distribution centers started shutting their doors and the numbers of people absconding from work to find food increased like a virus, the party slogan “If you survive a thousand miles of suffering, there will be ten thousand miles of happiness” was introduced. The state of food emergency was officially referred to as the “Arduous March” and the population was urged to follow the example set by our General, at the forefront of the struggle. As evidence, the song “The Rice Balls of the General” was played over and over again on television.

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