Forbidden Book Smuggled out of North Korea

We’ve heard of books that were passed around and had long journeys before finally getting published, but never something quite like this. Recently, a collection of short stories by a North Korean author was published despite facing the hurdle of having to be smuggled out of the country.

CNN reports that the book titled The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea is fiction, but it reflects what it’s like to live in North Korea as an average citizen and could not be published there. The author, under the pseudonym Bandi, was able to release the book after 28 years thanks to the help of South Korean activist, Do Hee-Youn.

According to Hee-Youn, the book “Doesn’t deal with political prison camps, or public executions, human rights issues. It shows normal life of North Korea citizens and it is very frightening.”

Hee-Youn and a group of Chinese tourists were able to smuggle the manuscript by disguising it in the propaganda they were given when visiting North Korea’s capital city Pyongyang in 2014. It was previously published in Korean and translated into French, but now has recently been published in the United States and England as well as being translated into 19 different languages.  

What an interesting journey! Would you read this book? 


Featured image courtesy of Vice