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antiestablishmentarian
06-09-2010, 08:34 PM
Just found an online book (non-commercial) recounting the experiences of an Englishman who emigrated to North Korea in the 1980's to work for a year as an official translator. Very interesting view of the so-called Hermit State written from a neutral viewpoint which examined the upsides and downsides of their society before making a judgment.

http://www.aidanfc.net/a_year_in_pyongyang.html

C. Flower
06-09-2010, 10:27 PM
If it really is neutral, and objective that's an unusual thing. It's very hard to find anything objective written about the Soviet Union.

Cáthasaigh
06-09-2010, 11:17 PM
Anyone seen the Korean language film Taegukgi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taegukgi_%28film%29)? Very well worth a watch.

Count Bobulescu
02-02-2012, 05:37 PM
The Orphan Master’s Son is a new novel by a Stanford professor imagining a life in North Korea. Two interviews here, seven minutes on TV, and fifty minutes on radio. What makes it especially interesting, is, as the author notes, the virtual impossibility of finding any work, literary or otherwise, from the DPRK in the last 60 years that does not have the government stamp on it.


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june12/adamjohnson_01-30.html

(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june12/adamjohnson_01-30.html)
http://www.npr.org/2012/02/01/146205425/occupying-the-nations-attention-if-not-its-cities

Sam Lord
02-02-2012, 08:01 PM
Tariq Ali has an article in a recent London Review of Books about his trips there some 4 decades ago.

He claims he turned down $10,000 to make a speech praising the great beloved leader .. while others were pocketing the cash all around him.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n02/tariq-ali/diary

There is some interesting stuff though that I wasn't that aware about .. like the terrible damage inflicted by the "UN" forces on the North:



Three years earlier in Phnom Penh the Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett had told me that what I had seen in Vietnam was ‘nothing compared to what they did to Korea. I was there. There were only two buildings left standing in Pyongyang.


Also what the Japanese did to the place was just a horror story:



Colonised by the Japanese between 1910, when they annexed the country, and the end of the Second World War, Korea experienced both ‘modernity’ and extreme brutality and repression. The country’s mineral wealth was used to buttress Japanese militarism; local workers were paid starvation wages; tens of thousands of women were treated as prostitutes by the occupiers but not paid for their services. The Japanese aimed at total integration: Korean was forbidden in schools, Korean-language newspapers were banned and people were to use Japanese names. Agriculture met imperial needs – thousands of farmers were expelled from the land and the bulk of the rice and wheat produced was sent to Japan – leading to mass starvation. A Japanese proconsul admitted that every spring half of Korea’s farmers lived off grass and bark. The two million Koreans transported to Japan as slave labourers were lucky in one sense: they were fed.

C. Flower
02-02-2012, 10:44 PM
Tariq Ali has an article in a recent London Review of Books about his trips there some 4 decades ago.

He claims he turned down $10,000 to make a speech praising the great beloved leader .. while others were pocketing the cash all around him.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n02/tariq-ali/diary

There is some interesting stuff though that I wasn't that aware about .. like the terrible damage inflicted by the "UN" forces on the North:



Also what the Japanese did to the place was just a horror story:

That bombing has been discussed here before, but until reading about it on PW I had never heard about it.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showpost.php?p=214203&postcount=12



December 1952. Just about everything in northern and central Korea was completely leveled by U.S. bombing, including cities and towns. Surviving civilians fled into caves.
May 20 1953. President Eisenhower and the National Security Council approves theuse of atomic bombs if the Chinese and North Koreans did not sign the Armistice agreement. Such message was conveyed to the Chinese through third parties such as India. North Koreans and Chinese cave in to the nuclear blackmail, and armistice talks intensify.
July 27, 1953. The Armistice Agreement is signed between the generals of U.S., North Korea, and China.
II) Post-Korean War Period, 1953-1992.
December 3, 1953. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommends to NSC that the U.S. should launch a “massive atomic air strike” against North Korea and China if the Korean War is renewed.2
1956. North Korea sends 30 students to study nuclear physics in the Soviet Union.
January 1958. U.S. military brings into South Korea 280-mm atomic cannons and Honest John nuclear-capable missiles, in violation of the Armistice Agreement. A year later, the Air Force “permanently stationed a squadron of nuclear-tipped Matador cruise missiles in Korea.”
1965. Soviet Union helps building a nuclear research reactor at Yongbyon.
1968. North Korea captures Pueblo, a U.S. Navy spy ship. In response, Johnson administration considers use of nuclear option.
1969. North Korea shoots down a U.S. EC-121 spy plane over its territory. In response, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers headed for North Korea from Guam and veered off just before reaching the DMZ.
Mid-1970s. South Korea had three nuclear power reactors in operation and six under construction. Under 1974 agreement, U.S. supplied the enriched uranium used to fuel South Korean nuclear reactors. In return, American inspectors could check on the nuclear facilities any time.
March 4, 1975. An inter-agency U.S. intelligence study concludes that Seoul was “proceeding with the initial phases of a nuclear weapons development program.” South Korean President Park Chung-Hee pursued a secret program to develop nuclear weapons capability until he is assassinated in 1979 by director of South Korean CIA.
June 20, 1975. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger confirms openly that the U.S. “have deployed nuclear weapons in Europe and Korea along with our forces, and those nuclear weapons are available as options for the President.”
The withdrawal of nuclear weapons aimed at the north by the US was never verified. S. Korea remained "under the US nuclear umbrella"