In 1987 Michael Harrold went to North Korea to work as English language adviser on translations of the speeches of the late President Kim Il Sung (the Great Leader) and his son and heir Kim Jong Il (then Dear Leader and now head of state). For seven years he lived in Pyongyang enjoying privileged access to the ruling classes and enjoying the confidence of the country’s young elite. In this fascinating insight into the culture of North Korea he describes the hospitality of his hosts, how they were shaken by the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and many of the fascinating characters he met from South Korean and American GI defectors to his Korean minder and socialite friends. After seven years and having been caught passing South Korean music tapes to friends and going out without his minder to places forbidden to foreigners, he was asked to leave the country.
Keywords: TRAVEL / Asia / General TRV003000