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North Korea Undercover: Inside the World's Most Secret State by John Sweeney

An authoritative and, at times, frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society.
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching: It is Orwell's 1984 made reality.
Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea, having entered the country undercover, posing as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics.
Huge factories with no staff or electricity; hospitals with no patients; uniformed child soldiers; and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ—the DeMilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins—all framed by the relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent.
Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today, examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681772233
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 547,243
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John Sweeney is a reporter for BBC Panorama. Before joining the BBC in 2001, Sweeney worked for twelve years at The Observer. He has helped free seven innocent people falsely convicted for killing their babies and given evidence against six war criminals in The Hague. Over the course of his career John has won one Emmy, two Royal Television Society prizes, one Sony Gold award, the What The Papers Say Journalist of The Year Prize, an Amnesty International prize and the Paul Foot Award. He is the author of eight books.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text xix

Introduction 1

1 In the Land of the Plastic Toad 21

2 Zombie Gods Seep Goo 34

3 God the Waxwork Father 59

4 'No photos, no photos' 73

5 Jimmy the Gold-Smuggler 82

6 Pyongyang Zoo 94

7 The Scariest Place on Earth 102

8 Facing the Final Curtain 118

9 Cruel Christs of Pus 128

10 Pissing on Marble 140

11 'Would the Dear Leader not be offended by such a gift?' 145

12 The Man Who Went to North Korea and Came Back Mad 149

13 The Washing of Brains 158

14 God the Bad Elvis Son 182

15 Fifty Shades of Green 201

16 Empty Bellies 227

17 The American Who Went to North Korea and Stayed 248

18 The Hospital that Has Patients, but Only in the Morning 265

19 The Gulag Circus 275

20 God the Fat Boy Kim 282

Acknowledgements 295

Picture Acknowledgements 297

Index 299

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