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This unique book provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of life in North Korea today. Drawing on decades of experience, noted experts Ralph Hassig and Kongdan Oh explore a world few outsiders can imagine.
In vivid detail, the authors describe how the secretive and authoritarian government of Kim Jong-il shapes every aspect of its citizens' lives, how the command socialist economy has utterly failed, and how ordinary individuals struggle to survive through small-scale capitalism. Weighing the very limited individual rights allowed, the authors illustrate how the political class system and the legal system serve solely as tools of the regime.
https://calsowithmigent.tk The key to understanding how the North Korean people live, the authors argue, is to realize that their only allowed role is to support Kim Jong-il, whose father founded the country in the late s. Demick explores the double-mindedness that political repression creates, when the prudent self helps the regime force the doubting self to keep quiet.
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As their belief in the Kim dynasty fell apart, these North Koreans went through a lonely, painful process. The careful objectivity of its author makes this compulsively readable, intimate story of fear, conformity, starvation, and flight all the more moving. Hassig and Oh describe the country's economic, political, and caste systems from an institutional perspective.
They explain how the government controls wages and rations food, how it monitors the population, and how it conducts propaganda -- with the unintended help of the United States, starring as the bogeyman. They offer a detailed picture of the lives of Kim Jong Il and the members of his entourage and a study of why and how defectors break for the outside. Both books show that the regime is under stress, but they also reveal the mechanisms by which, for the time being, it is holding tight.
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