North Korea is generally in the news. Whatever we know of the country is through media reports which are almost always negative. Today’s needull is a book review of The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future by Victor Cha.
With too many international vested interests in North Korea, the future is difficult to gauge.
Stripped of its cuteness, the story contains two lessons. The first is a reminder of what should be obvious: ordinary North Koreans are in most ways just like everyone else. For all their affected concern for human rights, this is overlooked with depressing frequency by people who should know better. North Koreans are not a ‘zombie nation’ (Martin Amis), an undifferentiated mass of ‘racist dwarfs’ (Christopher Hitchens), but 24 million individuals, as virtuous and vicious as the rest of us, and just as keen on sweet and sticky snacks.
Richard Lloyd Parry – London Review of Books