Ask A North Korean: Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World’s Most Secretive Nation

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North Korea is often in the news these days. For years, people wondered just what exactly goes on in the Hermit Kingdom, a country so secretive it has its own Internet to minimize contact with the outside world. Now, Daniel Tudor has an answer with his book Ask a North Korean. In the book, Tudor interviews several people who have managed to defect. What they have to tell is absolutely startling. However, in light of the circumstances, North Koreans go about their everyday lives just like anybody else in the world. Anything from economic conditions to the Korean language, which is a bit different in North versus South Korea, to the food and beyond is fair game in this book.

The format starts with a question posed by the readers of the Ask a North Korean blog run by NK News. The author then provides a brief background on the topic and then gives the page to several defectors who offer their own version of the answer in detail. There are many questions asked in the book; for example, whether people own pets in North Korea (mainly the rich do). Illustrations are also added so that the readers can visually see for themselves what ordinary life is like in North Korea.

Overall, I found Ask a North Korean to be very informative. I have always wondered about the Hermit Kingdom, and the book provided me with lots of new knowledge.

Reviewed By:

Author Daniel Tudor • Andrei Lankov, Foreword • NK News, Contributor
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Tuttle Publishing
Publish Date 2018-Mar-20
ISBN 9780804849333
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2018
Category Reference


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