New Jasper Becker book on North Korea

It’s called Rogue State and it sounds fantastic.

Becker presents a well-fed, unprepossessing Kim Jong Il running North Korea with a cult of personality unmatched in contemporary history, reducing his population to starving anonymous actors in a bizarre personal psychodrama, where “even the mere idea of internal opposition to Kim’s rule is regarded as preposterous.” Images of this grim state of affairs—which goes well beyond the Orwellian into the Kafkaesque—have been smuggled out over the past few years; how they came to be is described with rare concision by Becker: the Kim dynasty’s poisonous and potent blend of Stalinist doctrine and Korean absolutism found its catalysts, he argues, in the varying ambitions of Japan, China and the U.S. While stopping short of calling for immediate regime change, Becker minces no words in warning that we may now have no way out of a monstrous situation.

It’s on my list.

The Discussion: One Comment

If you haven’t read Jasper’s “Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s secret famine”, I strongly recommend it as well.

This one is going on my wish list.

April 7, 2005 @ 4:55 am | Comment

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