Thursday, August 20, 2009

Read this Book: Escaping North Korea

I know I'm on a KOREA-KICK these days, but this is a darn good book, no matter your interests. It's called ESCAPING NORTH KOREA... and I finished it today!

Mike Kim writes about his experiences helping North Korean refugees near the border of North Korea and China. He gave up his life in the U.S. to spend four years helping North Koreans escape, get health care, and rehabilitate.

It is such an amazing book. I cried several times reading it. The stories North Koreans tll are horrifying and heartbreaking. Topics include human trafficking, drugs, gulags (North Korean prisons), and extreme poverty. You won't believe what you're reading. If you don't know much about the North Korean regime or Kim Jong Il, it will also be an interesting read. How the government controls people will blow you away!

I think the book is also very timely since we just saw the release of two U.S. journalists from a North Korean jail. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained for allegedly crossing into North Korea illegally... until President Clinton flew to North Korea and asked for their release. The two journalists really haven't talked about their ordeal in prison, but this book may give some insight to what they experienced. They probably didn't endure the beatings and torture that so many others had been dealt, but with a food shortage across the country and a dislike for American Imperialism, I'm sure their experience was less than comfortable. Laura Ling said that in prison, she was fed rocks in her rice. In the book, author Mike Kim said rice is often mixed with grass to make food go farther.

If you want to see the interview that sparked my interest in this book, you can find it on the Daily Show (of all places!):

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1 comment:

Saras said...

Michelle! I went to school with Mike! We attended the same church. Isn't this an amazing story? He's a very charismatic guy!