Monday, October 6, 2014



In this rare insider’s view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom.

Dear Leader is about Jang Jin-sung who was North Korea’s State Poet Laureate and his escape from North Korea. The book thought was not just about that it was an indepth look at a political system that has no concern for its citizens or the world. Jang Jin-sung had a job that was very high up on the political ladder. He was one of the few that had access to all literature South Korean then changed the content to brainwash the North Korean people to think South Korea were supporters of Kim Jong-il. Due to Jang Jin-sungs level in North Korea society he got special provisions. He never went hungry and had a nice place to live unlike the rest of the people. 

Everything in North Korea revolves around Kim Jong-il. The people are starving to death in the streets and to make it more horrid there is a actual department of government that goes around poking people with sticks to see if they are dead. If you have read other North Korean books you have had an insight into the prison work camps, only pictures of the Leader, etc. But this book is different due to the fact that Jang Jin-sung is so high up in the government. He is able to tell the outside world things that might be unknown otherwise. This book is an important read into the workings of the North Korean government. Yet at times it can be daunting to read.

When Jang Jin-sung and Young-min made the mad dash to escape it read like a action packed thriller. They were on the run with two countries after them. They were in survival mode and if it was not for the few people that helped none would have got out alive. I found the end a little hard to believe. It was vague on how that number he called made it all happen. But it is a good book and should be on your to read list. 

(I got this book for a honest review for NetGalley) 

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