This is the third book I read before going to North Korea. The author, Andrei Lankov, is a Russian writer who currently works at the Kookmin University in Seoul. He is a specialist in Korea, having studied in the North and lived in the South, where he is also a columnist for The Korea Times, the oldest English-language newspaper published daily in South Korea.
Through short essays he explains different aspects of the life in North Korea: education, work, political system, transportation, etc. By the time you finish the book, you have a clear idea about what that society looks like, without having to travel there.
In the last pages he talks about the little changes that are happening, and how with time, the Stalinism in North Korea will die.
As they are short essays it is very easy to read, and it should be mandatory to anybody who is interested in really seeing what is going on in that country, in that society.
Finally, an important idea that the author wants to highlight is that no matter how tough the situation and a government can be on you, the people still need to go through their daily lives, and try to live them as fully as possible.
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