A unique and timely account of life in North Korea: the world's most secret state
In March 2013 award-winning BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney went undercover to gain unprecedented access to North Korea. Posing as a university professor, Sweeney saw the reality behind the world's most secret state. He spoke to people who have seen the horrific dark side of the regime and saw things which have been hidden for years from the eyes of the western world: huge factories with no staff or electricity; uniformed child soldiers working in a zoo; and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ – the De-Militarized Zone where North Korea ends and South Korea starts – all framed by the relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent and crackly loudspeakers.
Sweeney also visited South Korea and met defectors from the North who told him the other side of the story: gulags within a gulag state, dire poverty, blunted lives, hideous torture, effective infanticide of disabled babies, stick-limbed children dying of famine and mass graves of political prisoners that could only be dug when the spring thaw set in.
With the world's eyes focused on North Korea and its threats to unleash nuclear weapons on the US and other countries, Sweeney's timely account is a stunning piece of reportage from the country the author describes as the strangest place he's ever visited. A combination of first person experiences, interviews – all new and unique – and history, the book is the work of a courageous investigator at the very top of his game. It will cover the country's troubled history as well as provide a window into life there today.
About the Author
John Sweeney is a reporter for BBC Panorama who became a YouTube sensation when he lost his temper with a senior member of the Church of Scientology. Before joining the BBC in 2001, Sweeney worked for twelve years at The Observer, where he covered wars and revolutions and unrest in more than sixty countries from Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya to Zimbabwe. He has helped free seven people falsely convicted of killing their babies - starting with Sally Clark and Angela Canning.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, including most recently The Church of Fear - Inside The Weird World of Scientology (Silvertail, 2013). His hobby is falling off his bike on the way back from the pub.
"Sweeney's book is a spark in the dark of North Korea." The Times "The recent UN report on North Korea under-lined the importance of Sweeney's book. There is much to learn from North Korea Undercover." Literary Review "Harrowing... creepy and poignant; and, in turn, tragic and obscene. North Korea Undercover asserts that the West should be more concerned about labour camps than nuclear weapons." -- Tom Farrell Sunday Business Post "A tremendous piece of reporting. This book is one that we should all read and absorb." Army Rumour Service "This is a chilling book, but a timely one, written with both humour and compassion. Buy it, read it, and discuss it." Solidarity
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st November 2013
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.4 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.46