Its been a while since I have read this one, but it has been “one of those books” that has stayed with me since reading it. Basically it is an autobiographical account of one mans journey out of North Korea, his native country since birth. This book is a look inside what I think is a far worse place than even Nazi Germany. It is Communism in its totalitarian fullest. Statism on steroids. It is the result of what happens when a leader, a very charismatic leader, rises up, propped by China, to complete control over a peoples. North Korea is a closed society. Even on a genetic level, due to generations of savage starvation and malnutrition, its people are “physically smaller” than their southern cousins. With the revelations of late that North Korea’s Dear Leader is in failing health, and that there is now full proof that a North Korean submarine did in fact torpedo a South Korean ship in South Korean waters recently, this book becomes a precursor to what I think we will start seeing more of in the future. North Korea is falling apart from within. Like a cornered dog, it is showing signs of rabid, irrational, desperate aggression. A war with North Korea would be a devastating event, but every day, every minute, inside this hell dubbed “a nation”, hell exists on earth right now. Vast Gulags. Social policemen, Rat tar tar. I recommend it as an example of what “top-down” political management can do to a culture.
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