This timely account is a stunning piece of reportage from the country the author describes as the strangest place he’s ever visited
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. It is Orwell’s 1984 made reality.
The regime controls the flow of information to its citizens, pouring relentless propaganda through omnipresent loud speakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent.
You must bow to Kim Il Sung, the Eternal Leader and to his son, Generalissimo Kim Jong Il. Worship the dead and then hail the living, the Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
North Koreans are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching.
Posing as a university professor, award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney travelled undercover to gain unprecedented access to the world’s most secret state. Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today, examining the country’s troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.
Sweeney’s highly engaging, authoritative account illuminates the dark side of the Hermit Kingdom and challenges the West’s perception of this paranoid nationalist state.
“Sweeney's book is a spark in the dark of North Korea.”
“The recent UN report on North Korea under-lined the importance of Sweeney's book. There is much to learn from North Korea Undercover.”
“Harrowing... creepy and poignant; and, in turn, tragic and obscene. North Korea Undercover asserts that the West should be more concerned about labour camps than nuclear weapons.”
Tom Farrell, Sunday Business Post
“Explosive and entertaining... Sweeney provides a remarkably vivid look at this hidden country. An investigative must-read.”
“A tremendous piece of reporting. This book is one that we should all read and absorb.”
Army Rumour Service
“This is a chilling book, but a timely one, written with both humour and compassion. Buy it, read it, and discuss it.”
“Sweeney is a very good and honest journalist - he has an ability that is very rare in TV reporting to emotionally judge the truth of a situation.”