Title: Dear Leader
Author: Jang Jin-Sung
This book is amazing. If there is one book you read on North Korea, let it be this one. I’ve read 2 books based in North Korea so far – Jia and Long Road Home but they have both been more of personal struggles.
Both these books have been written by loyal North Korean citizens who were unfortunate enough to discover the brutality of the regime after something went wrong with them. In ‘Dear Leader’, the author was among the very few privileged people who worked in the top-secret government offices and also got a chance to dine with Kim Jong-il.
Having read a couple of books and having watched a few documentaries on North Korea, I was still very confused about the whole thing. I didn’t understand how a regime could accomplish something so evil without the citizens rebelling. This book clears it all up. Because it is written by an insider we get to understand the propaganda machine that the government is. We also understand how the citizens view their regime and the rest of the world.
Jang Jin-Sung worked in a top-secret government organization, enjoyed privileges that only a top few are ever introduced to and is overall leading a charmed life. He worships Kim Jong-il like most of the citizens and is very happy with his accomplishments at such a young age. But when he goes back to his village he discovers something that shakes his belief in the system. It triggers a sequence of events after which he thinks his only choice is to flee the country.
Dear Leader is an edge of the seat thriller, there are parts which some may find too detailed but I loved those as well. I cannot recommend this book enough. It has to be one of the best books I’ve read, non fiction and otherwise.