Author(s): Roy Calley
History | No Category
North Korea is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel in the world (nine and a half million). International organizations have declared that human rights violations there have no parallel in the modern world. It is estimated that 10, 000 people die in North Korean prison camps every year. Why? How did this come about? And what is life really like for the country's 25 million citizens? As a journalist who has visited the country and talked to the people on many occasions, Roy Calley is in a unique position to pull aside the veil to reveal the reality of life there. To do so it is essential to understand the formation of the nation and 'Fade to Black' consists of three sections. The first explains how she changed virtually overnight from a Buddhist country to one embracing the 'Juche' theory of total self-reliance after independence from Japan. The second analyses the central importance of 'victory' in the Korean War (1950-53) to how the North Koreans - both those in absolute power and the people - view themselves. The third is concerned with how it is to live in North Korea today. Some of the author's observations of everyday life come as a shock: in Pyonyang, for example, we find very little poverty. This is one of the most modern cities in the world, but completely devoid of any type of commercialism. The people genuinely adore the Great Leaders. There is no possibility of self-advancement - but the concept means nothing to the ordinary citizen. To come to terms with the world's latest nuclear power we need to understand how she works. Roy Calley has gone inside to bring back a genuine report, not guesswork.