North Korean State Repression

I. Resources from Dr. Lerner’s Presentation

II.. Human Rights in North Korea

III. North Korean Politics and History

IV. Videos

V. Books

I. Resources from Dr. Lerner’s Presentation

  1. PowerPoint Presentation 
  2. Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas in Spying by James Olson. 2007 (book)
    1. Also available at OSU Libraries 
  3. The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters by B.R. Myers. 2011 (book)
  4. Camp 14: Total Control Zone (documentary)

II. Human Rights in North Korea

  1. The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 

Foreign policy and human rights specialists launched the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) to promote human rights in North Korea.

2. Liberty in North Korea

Nonprofit dedicated to bring awareness to North Korea’s human rights violations and assisting North Korean defectors. The website includes defector interviews, video, and articles about the humanitarian issues in North Korea.

3. United Nations Human Rights: Office of the High Commissioner

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world’s commitment to universal ideals of human dignity.

4. Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization. The North Korea section discusses border control, freedom of expression and access to information, inhuman treatment, forced labor, etc.

4. Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights

Non-profit, non-governmental, non-religious, and non-partisan human rights organization established in 1996

5. North Korea Human Rights Information

Compiled by North Korea Freedom Coalition

III. North Korean Politics and History

1. US-Korea Institute 

The U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI) at SAIS is part of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, a hub of Korea-related activities in the Washington, DC area, and to increase information and understanding of Korea and Korean affairs.

2. Stanford University Korean Studies Program 

Part of Stanford’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

3. East Asia Forum 

An initiative of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at Australian National University, East Asia Forum provides a platform for the best in East Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region and world affairs.

4. Center for Strategic and International Studies – North Korea and Human Rights

The CSIS Korea Chair conducts independent research relevant to North Korea and human rights.

5. The National Committee on North Korea

The National Committee on North Korea is a non-governmental organization of persons with significant expertise in and diverse perspectives on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

6. Yonghap News Agency: North Korea

South Korean news agency

7. 38 North

Analysis of DPRK politics and society

8. “Official” North Korean Website: Korean Friendship Association 

The DPRK’s Korean Friendship Association website which details North Korea’s view of its history, politics, culture, etc.

9. Country Study: North Korea

A 2008 publication from the Library of Congress about North Korea.

10. The New York Times: North Korea

News about North Korea, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

11. The Guardian: North Korea

News about North Korea published in The Guardian

12. NK News

News articles about North Korean–requires a $5/month subscription for access to most articles.

13. YUST PUST Foundation

YUST PUST Foundation (YPF) is committed to advancing the educational and humanitarian efforts of the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) and the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST).

IV. Videos

1.  A rare look inside North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University  (BBC News)

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes gained rare access to Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, the country’s leading academic institution.

2. “Defectors lift curtain on North Korea’s information blackout.” (PBS News Hour)

North Korea’s totalitarian government exercises tight control of all media consumed within its borders to maintain power over nearly 25 million citizens. But some who have escaped the country are waging an information war, smuggling media on USB sticks in hopes of helping North Koreans learn about life outside the country.

3.  “Cash for Kim: North Korean Forced Laborers in Poland” (VICE)

VICE gained exclusive access to documents that reveal the wages of North Korean laborers in Poland before the Kim regime’s deductions.

4.  Inside North Korea (BBC Panorama News Programme)

North Korea Undercover Documentary 2013

5. Inside North Korea. (VICE)

Vice News 3 Part Documentary on the DPRK

6. Hidden state: Inside North Korea (Fault Lines)

Fault Lines gains rare access into North Korea and examines the impact of US policies on the secretive nation.

7. Archive of North Korean Movies

The complete DPRK Movie playlist of movies uploaded to Youtube. All of the movies have subtitles in English.

V. Books

1. The Aquariums of Pyongyang, Kang Chol-hwan, Pierre Rigoulot

Kang Chol-hwan is a survivor of one of the North Korean prison camps. He escaped and tells his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Available through OhioLink

2. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today. Available through OhioLINK

3. The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, Victor D Cha

Former White House official Victor Cha sheds a light on North Korea’s culture, economy, and foreign policy; and explores the possibilities of its uncertain future in the post-Kim Jong-il era. Available at OSU Library and through OhioLINK

4. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea, Bandi

A collection of searing and heart-wrenching stories by an anonymous North Korean writer who is still living in North Korea and whose manuscript was smuggled out to be published abroad—the first piece of dissident fiction to ever come out of the country.

5. The Invitation-Only Zone: The True Story of North Korea’s Abduction Project, Robert S Boynton

In 2002, with his country on the brink of collapse, Kim Jong-il admitted to the kidnapping of thirteen people and returned five of them in hopes of receiving Japanese aid. Available through OhioLINK

6. The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom, Ralph Hassig & Kong Dan Oh

This unique book provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of life in North Korea today. Drawing on decades of experience, noted experts Ralph Hassig and Kongdan Oh explore a world few outsiders can imagine. In vivid detail, the authors describe how the secretive and authoritarian government of Kim Jong-il shapes every aspect of its citizens’ lives, how the command socialist economy has utterly failed, and how ordinary individuals struggle to survive through small-scale capitalism. Weighing the very limited individual rights allowed, the authors illustrate how the political class system and the legal system serve solely as tools of the regime.

7. Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty  Bradley K Martin

The book offers in-depth portraits of North Korea’s two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. Lifting North Korea’s curtain of self-imposed isolation, this book will take readers inside a society, that to a Westerner, will appear to be from another planet. Subsisting on a diet short on food grains and long on lies, North Koreans have been indoctrinated from birth to follow unquestioningly a father-son team of megalomaniacs.

8. A Prison Without Bars: Refugee and Defector Testimonies of Severe Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea: Update on Religious Freedom Conditions in North Korea and New Interviews with Former North Korean Security Agents  United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Update on Religious Freedom Conditions in North Korea and New Interviews with Former North Korean Security Agents

9. North Korea Undercover: Inside the World’s Most Secret State , John Sweeney

North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching: It is Orwell’s 1984 made reality.
John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea, having entered the country undercover, posing as a university professor with a group of students from the LSE