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Michael Harrold wrote an engaging memoir concerning his journey to North Korea, which started in the late 1980s. His journey to North Korea occurred due his desire to experience something new, so he answered the call to become the first Briton to live and work in North Korea. As he arrived, Michael Harrold anticipated working with the world’s most secretive society with his lack of basic knowledge concerning things of North Korean culture. His initial skepticism of the society developed into growing empathy for the people of North Korea within his seven years stay in the country. This was despite disagreements and almost contempt towards authorities, violations of his privacy, lies he was told, amongst other things. In fact, there was a time in his stay where he wondered why he would subject himself to this time of behavior such as the slicing open of his suitcase and the bugging of his room. Yet, he stayed to see what the next year would bring to North Korea as restrictions on foreigners seemingly were loosen by authorities as he engaged in conversations with the locals. Prior to the loosening of restrictions, he had loved and lost a young local girl and lost ones that he had grown close to. Despite all of this, he stood beside the people as they faced their trials in society and the threat of US invasion. He experienced North Korea unlike no other outsider from VIP treatment at grand occasions to the paddy fields working with the farmers. Overall, this memoir gives a unique insight into life behind the closed doors of North Korea and the culture of the society.

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