The New York Times
Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Koreaby Jasper Becker
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What happens when a dictator wins absolute power and isolates a nation from the outside world? In a nightmare of political theory stretched to madness, North Korea's Kim Jong Il made himself into a living god, surrounded by lies and flattery and beyond criticism. As over two million of his subjects starved to death, Kim Jong Il roamed between palaces staffed by the most beautiful girls in the country and stocked with the most expensive delicacies from around the world. Outside, the steel mills shut down, the trains stopped running, the power went out, and the hospitals ran out of medicine. When the population threatened to revolt, Kim imposed a reign of terror across the country, deceived the United Nations, and plundered the country's dwindling resources to become a nuclear power. Now tiny bankrupt North Korea is using her nuclear capability to blackmail the United States.
Veteran correspondent Jasper Becker takes us inside one of the most secretive countries in the world, exposing the internal chaos, blind faith, rampant corruption, and terrifying cruelty of its rulers. Becker details the vain efforts to change North Korea by actors inside and outside the country and the dangers this highly volatile country continues to pose. Small, podgy and easily overlooked, Kim Jong Il has emerged from the shadow of his father to lead the most successful and dangerous rogue state of our times.
This unique land, ruled by one family's megalomania and paranoia, seems destined to survive and linger on for some time, a menace to its own people and to the rest of the world. But should the nations of the world allow this regime to survive? That's the question with which this book concludes.
The New York Times
"A tough but even-handed treatment of the subject."Andrew Scobell for Parameters
"A very timely book.... Not for the faint-hearted. Mr. Becker takes an unblinking look at a dark regime that has made North Korea an international pariah, has elevated its rulers to the status of gods, and through torture and indoctrination reduced its subjects to virtual slaves.... The facts almost defy belief."William Grimes, The New York Times
"A good new look at North Korea."Nicholas Kristof, The New York Observer
"One of the few reporters to have firsthand experience of North Korea, veteran Asian correspondent Becker adds more nuance to a familiar story that the threat of nuclear arms, as well as the world's fifth largest standing army, are part of an attempt to force the rest of the globe to cater to a mad leader's megalomaniacal world.... Images of this grim state of affairswhich goes well beyond the Orwellian into the Kafkaesquehave been smuggled out over the past few years; how they came to be is described with rare concision by Becker.... Becker minces no words in warning that we may now have no way out of a monstrous situation."Publishers Weekly
"Really is required reading. Becker, one of the few Western reporters to spend time in the Stalinist state, details the megalomania of Kim Jong Ilwho staffed his palaces with the country's most beautiful womenand the madness of his regime, under which 2 million Koreans have reportedly died of starvation."New York Post
"Jasper Becker is already known as one of the sharpest observers of contemporary Chinaand with Rogue Regime he immediately establishes himself as a premier observer, and critic, of Kim Jong Il's North Korea. Readers of this devastating book will be hard pressed to gainsay Becker's assertion that this dynastic dictatorship genuinely empowers evilor to turn away from Becker's conclusion that only regime change is likely to bring a better life to the millions of ordinary North Koreans suffering under the Dear Leader's rule."Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, The American Enterprise Institute
"By giving us an engrossing and well-documented examination of the North Korean regime, Becker proves that Kim Jong Il is in a category of tyranny all on his own and that engagement and appeasement only strengthen him. If you care at all about the slow and certain genocide of the North Korean people, he makes a powerful case for why regime change is the only answer." Suzanne Scholte, President, Defense Forum Foundation
"Jasper Becker has warned us about North Korea, as a journalist with a sharp eye and an historian with perspective. North Korea with its bizarre cult of personality, its failed economy, its crackpot ideology and its relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is a major challenge in the twenty-first century. The reader will learn of the cunning control freaks who run the country. Becker's convincing book will make the task of the apologists for North Korea that much more difficult." James Lilley, Former American Ambassador to South Korea and China
"Rogue Regime is the companion work to Jasper Becker's Hungry Ghosts, his earlier, well-documented account of 30 million famine deaths in Mao's China. Once again he pulls back a heavy veil of secrecy and reveals the immense suffering of the people of North Korea." Dean Hirsch, President, World Vision International
- Oxford University Press
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Meet the Author
Jasper Becker has worked as a foreign correspondent for twenty years, including eleven years based in Beijing. He has written four books on the region, which have been translated into seven languages. His most recent work is The Chinese.
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