The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

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Basic Books, Aug 24, 2005 - History - 272 pages
15 Reviews
North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. New edition with a new preface by the author.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

I assume this memoir was "co-written" by Pierre Rigoulot with Kang Chol-Hwan because Mr. Chol-Hwan is not proficient in English but the narrative, often overwritten, appears to be more of Rigoulot's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - qebo - LibraryThing

Kang Chol-hwan was 9 years old in the late 1970s when his family was removed to Yodok, North Korean concentration camp #15. The reason was his grandfather. In the 1930s, his grandparents had emigrated ... Read full review

Contents

A Happy Childhood in Pyongyang
1
Money and the Revolution Can Get Along
11
Next Year in Pyongyang
21
In a Concentration Camp at the Age of Nine
35
Work Group Number 10
47
The Wild Boar A Teacher Armed and Ready to Strike
63
Death of a Black Champion
73
Corn Roaches and Snake Brandy
81
Public Executions and Postmortem Stonings
137
Love at Yodok
145
Sojourn in the Mountain
149
Ten Years in the Camp Thank You Kim Ilsung
155
The North Korean Paradise
165
The Camp Threatens Again
183
Escape to China
193
SmallTime Prostitution and BigTime Smuggling in Dalian
209

Death at Yodok
97
The MuchCoveted Rabbits
105
Madness Stalks the Prisoners
119
Biweekly Criticism and Selfcriticism
125
Arrival in South Korea
217
Adapting to a Capitalist World
225
Pursuing Aid for North Korea
235
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Kang Chol-hwan lives and works in Seoul, where he is a staff writer for Chosun Ilbo, a daily newspaper in South Korea. Pierre Rigoulot is a journalist, historian, and human rights activist living in Paris, France. He is the author of numerous books on the history of political repression and contributed the North Korean chapter to the best-selling The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press).

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