A bizarre, little known tale about the most secretive culture on earthFor decades, North Korea denied any part in the disappearance of dozens of Japanese citizens from Japan s coastal towns and cities in the late 1970s But 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 As part of a global espionage project, the regime had attempted to reeducate these abductees and make them spy on its behalf When the scheme faltered, the captives were forced to teach Japanese to North Korean spies and make lives for themselves, marrying, having children, and posing as North Korean civilians in guarded communities known as Invitation Only Zones the fiction being that they were exclusive enclaves, not prisons.From the moment Robert S Boynton saw a photograph of these men and women, he became obsessed with their story Torn from their homes as young adults, living for a quarter century in a strange and hostile country, they were returned with little than an apology from the secretive regime.In The Invitation Only Zone, Boynton untangles the bizarre logic behind the abductions Drawing on extensive interviews with the abductees, Boynton reconstructs the story of their lives inside North Korea and ponders the existential toll the episode has had on them, and on Japan itself He speaks with nationalists, spies, defectors, diplomats, abductees, and even crab fishermen, exploring the cultural and racial tensions between Korea and Japan that have festered for than a century.A deeply reported, thoroughly researched book, The Invitation Only Zone is a riveting story of East Asian politics and of the tragic human consequences of North Korea s zealous attempt to remain relevant in the modern world....
|Title||:||The Invitation-Only Zone: The True Story of North Korea's Abduction Project|
|Publisher||:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux January 12, 2016|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|File Size||:||772 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Invitation-Only Zone: The True Story of North Korea's Abduction Project Reviews
North Korea: if it weren't terrifying, it would just be News of the Weird. And maybe it's both. The Invitation-Only Zone has unearthed a hitstory once believed to be urban myth: the broad-daylight abduction of Japanese citizens who then spent a lifetime in a weird form of captivity under...EXTREMELY...weird circumstances in NK. Somehow the author dug up the facts here and I couldn't stop turning the pages. Almost without noticing I also finally got some understanding of Japanese-Korean history and current relationships. Brilliant book.
Having read quite a few accounts of North Korea, I found "The Invitation-Only Zone" a unique look into a program that is often briefly highlighted in other books. The Abduction Project pursued by North Korea in the latter part of the twentieth-century appears to be something ripped from the pages of a novel. Mr. Boynton does a superb job of highlighting both the details and scope of the project, all the while humanising those who were affected by it in one way or another.
In the course of telling this story - a story almost too strange to be true - the author takes us through important elements of the inter-relationship between Korea and Japan post-Meiji - we really don't see why until the story completes; as the author notes, he didn't realize how important this was either. The telling of this history with the story of the abductions is not meant to excuse the acts, nor is the introduction of numerous Leftist characters. (If you read the fiction or history in fiction books by W. F. Buckley you will know that communists all come from somewhere very human; they are not really spawn of Satan). The only disappointment is one I am sure the author shares: why did the kidnappings happen? For what purpose? There are many who speculate but we may never know. The return of abductees is central to Japanese politics these days; it should also be noted that many non-Japanese were also abducted, and many many more duped into going North and never being allowed to leave again.
Fascinated and gripping. A thoroughly researched yet highly readable account of the abductions of Japanese (and other) citizens by the bizarre, inscrutable North Korean regime. I could not put this down. Boynton writes with authority yet also with humility, focusing on the gentle souls whose lives were stolen.
The author does an amazing job of providing context to a fairly unknown history to the west. The truth of why North Korea acts the way it does is hidden behind layers and years of mistreatment by its previous oppressor and colonizer, Japan. They paid the price by way of kidnappings and abductions throughout the years.
Most of us know that North Korea is a secretive nation with a chip on its shoulder. What I learned from this book is how they got that way. The way this author describes the relationship between the Japanese and Koreans, even today is fascinating. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the minds of those living in North Korea under a tyrannical leader. I could not put it down until I was finished. The names of the people are not as hard to deal with as had anticipated. The photos throughout the book help put names and faces together. It also shows how perception is everything and how we can triumph in the face of absolute terror. The victims of the abductions did what had to be done to survive, or not.
Fascinating study of the relationship of the repressive North Korea and the attitude that their leader takes what they want with no remorse. Well written, especially the exploration of the study of the residents from Korea who though living in Japan remain in a state of suspension from true Japanese citizenship.,
What an eyeopener! Who knew about this chapter in the complex and painful histories of Korea and Japan? Fascinating presentation and writing...nicely interwoven history. Puts alot in better perspective. Hope our diplomats and Asia-foreign service "people" are reading this!