London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

Demick wins Samuel Johnson prize

Congratulations to Barbara Demick for winning the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nothing to Envy (reviewed by LKL here) Through extensive interviews with defectors, Los Angeles Times journalist Barbara Demick shows in a compelling and unforgettable way that this hermetic country is Orwell’s 1984 made reality. Sources: Samuel Johnson Prize website | Guardian # [Read More]

Pleasure Squad defector tells all

Dear Leader’s Pleasure Squad defector tells all: “His favourite delicacy contains the reproductive organ of sharks.” Interesting article from Sunny Lee in The National. Pleasure Squad candidates over 165cm tall are excluded because Kim Jong Il is short, says the defector [Read More]

Escaping North Korea – documentary on BBC

A 50-minute documentary currently available on BBC’s iPlayer service for the next few days. Details below, from the BBC website: This World: Escaping North Korea International investigative documentary series. The dramatic stories of North Koreans who are risking everything, including torture and execution, to escape the repression and hunger of their homeland and reach safety … [Read More]

Escaping North Korea book launch

At the book launch of Escaping North Korea last week, author Mike Kim explained that he wanted the book to be “inspirational”. Having seen the huge obstacles faced by North Korean escapees, he found hope in each of their stories: “If the North Koreans can overcome their mountains, I can overcome my hill”, is the … [Read More]

North Koreans in Britain

Every now and then a visitor to this site asks whether there are any North Koreans in the UK, apart from at the DPRK embassy. Journalist Michael Rank keeps his eyes open for evidence, particularly on the parliamentary website, and shares his findings with the BAKS list – little snippets of information such as the … [Read More]

The fate of North Korean returnees

“The only way I’m going back to Korea is in a coffin” said a North Korean woman now living in China. Her story, recently told in the Daily Telegraph, is typical of the experience of a certain category of North Koreans in China. What that category is called depends on your orientation — economic migrants, … [Read More]