Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

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[Book Review] The author, Kang Chol-Hwan, tells the awful story of his life growing up in a North Korean prison camp.

Likely due to some intemperate words and actions by his grandfather (for some crimes in North Korea three generations of the offender’s family are imprisoned), the entire family was ripped away from its comfortable Pyongyang home, forcing the author to come of age in the inhumanity of a North Korean gulag. A quick, compelling read.

This is the North Korean defector and author given a private audience with former President Bush at the White House in the summer of 2005, after the President read the book and was struck by its raw power.

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