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April 16, 2012

An escapee from North Korea grants a look inside the regime

North Korea

North Korea. Blue buildings are UN, the other is North Korean. Photo: Karl Baron / Flickr

We can be fascinated by the evil and the scary. Certain countries just scream, “Danger!” which only makes us all the more interested in them.  One such nation is North Korea.  This article in The Guardian UK will go down as one of the most memorable articles I’ve ever read: How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp.

This real-life story is like The Shawshank Redemption on steroids.  No fiction writer could have come up with such sadistic villains, grotesque tortures, and nerve-jolting suspense as this.  While reading the piece, it felt like being trapped in Camp 14 with Shin In Geun, the main character.  The story builds in tension until Shin finally makes his desperate attempt for freedom, risking it all for the chance to see the world beyond the barriers of the camp.

Fair warning: this is a serious piece not to be read lightly.  The images and horrors stick in the mind long after one reaches the end.

Have you been to North Korea or another country that has pariah status? Please share your stories in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (2) 
Category: Asia, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing


2 Responses to “An escapee from North Korea grants a look inside the regime”

  1. André Vieira Says:

    It looked like i was reading the plot of some far-fetched movie. Amazing how we keep living our luxurious lives when at the same time there are people who don’t know what is music, true food, family confort, etc. Very moving.

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