The New York Times opinion writer Nicholas Kristof’s has just released a fascinating short film on North Korea.
It’s a short, only 26 minutes long, but gripping. He thinks there is a real risk of war with two inexperienced and foolhardy leaders at the helm of both countries. He suggests that like Iraq under Saddam perhaps the Koreans don’t fully realize the risks of war. But it is clear the Korean officials he speaks to believe the possibility is very real. Quite chilling.
Here’s the link to the film: https://nyti.ms/2k7phfy
One of the things that struck me here is the animosity of ordinary Koreans towards the US, albeit on camera and in front of minders. People often ask me if North Koreans actually believe their own propaganda – and my response is yes, because they have no alternative but to.
North Korea Book Recommendation
That brings me to a book that I also think you’d like Without you, there is no us by Suki Kim. It’s an account of a Korean American teacher working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. In the microcosm of the classroom it is evident how every aspect of peoples lives are controlled by the regime, indoctrination is uniform. It’s not the brutal repression that you might think of, more unspoken – the possibility of independent thought is something that most students won’t risk. More subtle than other books on the DPRK, but worth the read.
You can see videos about her experience on her website here:
We’ve suspended the tours to North Korea for the moment, but Prof. Rüdiger Frank our North Korean tour leader is joining us our Experts Weekend in March (23-25) in the UK.
The other piece of news we have is Dahlia Scheindlin, our Israeli political expert is in the UK next week giving a talk along side Ian Black form the Guardian to discuss his new book Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017. It’s on Thursday 6th December at City University. Attendance is free but registration is required. Dahlia is also joining us next year at our Experts Weekend.