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    Book Review: The Accusation Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea

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    North Korea is a very mysterious country! The country of North Korea is often considered to be closed and isolated, and it is completely out of touch in the 21st century. Kim II Sung actually founded the North Korean regime in 1948, and his family has ruled the country ever since. I never know anything about North Korea before until I study the Korean history and read the book of The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea. The book The Accusation depicts a series of life stories of ordinary people in North Korea without freedom. The author is a dissident writer still living in North Korea, under the pseudonym Bandi (means “firefly” in Korean). The book collected seven short stories, and I believe this is also the seven “accusation” against North Korea. Bandi was probably a secret writing critic and a satirical article describing the struggle and suffering of the North Korean family under the oppression of the ridiculous and failed communist system.

    In North Korea, the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat has completely disappeared. North Korea has become a slave society for the hereditary rule of the Kim family. The characters in this book came from a variety of places and social classes in North Korea, some of them are relatively powerful. In North Korea, a person’s ‘birth’ determines his social status. Whether he can have enough food, whether he can get the education or involved in government work is closely related to ‘birth’. People are organized according to the history of family loyalty to the Communist Party.

    The story “So Near, Yet So Far ” has defined this theory in North Korean’s society. It depicted a short story about a son who cannot visit a dying mother because of travel restrictions. He got rejected three times on the railway pass in a few months with a piece of paper marks his record. After his recent denial, he placed on the train and managed to disembark outside his hometown. However, he was stopped by the guards, who lacked the necessary passes and were sentenced to three weeks in prison. When he got home, a telegram reported his mother’s death. This incident clearly pointed out the hardship of living in North Korea, even though it was simply a domestic travel.

    In addition, from the story “ City of Specters” metaphor Kim II Sung and Karl Marx as the “specters.” And this story also talks about the important role of the family member that can determine the destiny of one’s family statute. The “ City of Specters” described a two years old boy scared by the poster of Karl Marx and Kim II Sung. He thought they are monster and his mom tried to comfort him by close the curtains. However, this would interfere with Pyongyang’s consistency with the upcoming parade and lead to the expulsion of the family to the countryside.

    Thus, this family is painted with a permanent black mark due to the treasonous. Kim II Sung has never appeared in person, however, his “ specter” haunted these main characters and demanded loyalty to his regime. In contrast, the very first story “ Record of a Defection, ” has a hopeful ending. It talks about the protagonist’s wife rejected the courtship from the local Communist Party political commissar and she got forced to flee by boat. And she left a letter with an opening ending at the end of the story. Unlike other stories, life has nothing but death, heartache or physical pain. The personality development of these characters is very limited, I think it because their stories represent the pain and arbitrariness of the fate of every citizen of the country.

    This book leads us into the daily life of a North Korean family. These stories represented the author speak up for all the people who cannot breathe under totalitarianism and all the people who are under the guise of North Korean communism. Bandi uses his life chain to raise his anger and reveals the truth of North Korea’s dictatorship, lies and people’s ignorance for 70 years. It also leads us to the sinister country that is beyond imagination. Bandi believes that love for North Korean citizens is more valuable than his own life. He saw that under the current regime, he, his family and all North Koreans lived like slaves and had no future. Lately, the century reconciliation between North and South Korea have brought the attention from the world. Bandi’s book has the same effect that brought the world attention on North Korea due to the “light of a firefly.”

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