- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (November 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300217811
- ISBN-13: 978-0300217810
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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North Korea's Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society Hardcover – November 15, 2016
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The Information Underground refers to the illegal radios that allow North Koreans to listen to broadcasts from South Korea and other parts of the world in addition to DVDs that are smuggled in from China into NK with South Korean movies and television shows that have enlightened many to the fact that they have been brainwashed and not allowed to know anything about the rest of the world. Young people like the fashions that they see on South Koreans in the movies and soap operas, but dare not be caught trying to emulate them.
A bit of capitalism has entered the country in the form of small markets where people sell food, clothing and other items. It is a way of making more money to buy food with and provides places for people to purchase food. During the famine in the 1990s, housewives would make anything they could, such as rice cakes or cookies, and sell them to make money to buy more food for their own families. These little home-grown markets have become bigger with more items for sale and the author tells about one woman who gets used clothes in bulk from China to sell.
Jieun makes an interesting observation that there are no experts on North Korea, and she considers herself a North Korea watcher. The country is so closed off from the rest of the world that it's impossible for an outsider to study it from the inside. The prison camps are still in operation and school children are taken to watch public executions. The Kim regime governs with fear.
This is quite a well-written book and allows the reader to learn about a changing society whether the regime knows it or not.
I met Jieun twice in the UK, once in University of Oxford and she visited my home end of November 2016.
She gave to me her book when she visited my home and I read her book for a month.
It was great, and amazing opportunity for me, I have read that a book and I also learnt inside North Korea again and was surprised, because many people change mind and want to learn outside countries.
I was a born in North Korea in Chungjin, in the closed dictatorship of North Korea, where I was cut off from the rest of the world and brainwashed from birth to obey the state. Like all citizens, I went through school believing that North Korea was the greatest country on earth and knew nothing about the atrocities carried out against its people.
I lived in North Korea I never heard any foreign countries radios and read books, so I did not know outside countries, but nowadays more and more North Korean are listening to foreign radio broadcasts, watching South Korean soap operas and Western films and they know their regium has been lying to them about South Korea and the rest of the world.
In North Korea listen to the foreign radio is dangerous, it can cost your life and your families life, but people understand what is freedom. Every action take forward freedom comes with enormous risks and pains, progress takes time and there's no guarantee of success.
However, it's more likely to succeed if you exploit the weakness of a dictatorship, rather than going head-to-head.
The most importation strategy among all ideas for engagement is to spread knowledge and information from outside to North Korean citizens.
What is a person without food?
What is a person without freedom?
What is a person without information?
In North Korean people, this is my people, I will tell you send to them hope and dreams and give to opportunity new freedom life same as you.
It is information that pours oil into the flames of desire for freedom.
Information is a driving force that turns hope of blazing freedom into hope.