I thought this book was very enlightening. The author seemed to understand deeply the problems and systemic aspects of North Korea . The pattern of the NK govt. of creating an incident, followed by negotiations, then aid which is distributed to their own faithful privileged caste of military and government officials, really impressed me. Also, the nonverbal aspects of losing control as was the case of any contact between North and South Koreans and their environments I also found interesting. Control is usually assumed to be verbal and bodily threatening in a direct sense. He showed that the indirect, nonverbal experiences can be very destabilizing to such an overt control system.
The author impresses with a deep unterstanding of the situation in North Korea, derived from his long experience with North Korean politics. The last third of the book - the possible future solutions for North Korea - are the most interesting part.
To be highly recommended for everybody who wants to get a good historical and political insight into North Korea.
Well written book which gives insight in all aspects of this mysterious country. Author never stops amazing with detailed insights and personal experiences. What a strange place to live, really makes you feel sorry for it's poor people.
The information in this book is most interesting. Mr. Lankov's view of and perspective on the country are certainly not what we read in the press or what ones would ever think our government leaders are seeing or understanding. However, that being said, I could not agree with him more! I find this book most educational. What Lankov writes simply makes sense to me, when you put two and two together. His arguments and rationale are 5-star. However, the chapters seem to repeat themselves in places throughout. Because I am so fascinated by the subject matter, I couldn't help but finish reading the book, as I wanted to glean as much information as is available in those pages. Still, the writing itself could have been a bit less rambling in the flow of the book; hence, I gave the book 4 stars. NEVERTHELESS, it is certainly a must-read!