In North Korea

An American Travels through an Imprisoned Nation


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About the Book

This is an account of an American woman’s recent travels through North Korea. Throughout her journey, she continually witnessed rundown villages, starving children with hollow eyes, haggard women crawling in the fields for single grains of rice and civilians unloading food aid at the point of bayonets.
The author predicts that North Korea’s economic reform, which has just started, will progress slowly, but that the country will one day be open to the outside world. It may, however, take another twenty years for this reform to be complete. Small, reluctant changes have already happened though, and this book expresses optimism that one day the North Korean people will end their isolation and join the world’s mainstream.

About the Author(s)

Writer Nanchu lives in Athens, Georgia. Her articles have appeared in Rocky Mountain News, Mid-US News, and Shanghai Health News.
Xing Hang is a Ph.D candidate in Chinese history, University of California at Berkeley.

Bibliographic Details

Nanchu with Xing Hang
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 205
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1691-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8397-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1


1. The Yalu River      7
2. Slow Train      15
3. The Travel Guards      22
4. En Route to Mt. Myohyang      28
5. Kim Il Sung, God in North Korea      36
6. Kim Jong Il, Behind the Veil      45
7. Pyongynag—Hell and Paradise      54
8. In the Shadow of Juche      63
9. Pyongyang’s Everyday Life      74
10. Underground Casino      81
11. The DMZ      87
12. Out of the Prison Country      102


13. Massive Flight      111
14. Cold Water Village      120
15. The Dangerous Life of the Escapee      127
16. Young Victims      132
17. North Korea’s Auschwitz      137
18. The Mongolia Route      143


19. Seeking a Change      151
20. Engaging the West      159
21. Beautifying Terrorism      163
22. Starve the Regime to Death?      167
23. Rise in Arms?      173
24. The First Light      178

Appendix: Timetable of the Famine      185
Chapter Notes      187
Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating and important…excellent appendix and index…recommended”—Library Journal; “an excellent book for understanding what famine looks like…recommended”—Catholic Library World; “posing as Chinese, [the author] traveled briefly with a Chinese tour group in North Korea…a reasonably accurate sense of the horrific conditions in the country and of the desperation felt by many of its people”—Los Angeles Times.