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  • Engrossing... It offers perhaps the best recent one-volume account of North Korea’s history, economics and foreign relations

    The Economist
  • [This] excellent, comprehensive book explains as much as it is possible to explain the nature of this ‘impossible state’, how it has developed under the Kim dynasty and why it endures as a major thorn in the side of the global community

    Jonathan Fenby, The Times
  • This scrupulously researched account provides an alarming insight into how a long-running nightmare for North Koreans could soon become a geopolitical crisis for the rest of us

    Stephen Robinson, Sunday Times
  • He uses his first-hand and often surreal experiences of dealing with North Korean officialdom to telling effect in the book. But Cha is also a scholar of Korean and Asian affairs, so can take a historical view of the North Korean problem and set it in its wider international context… [An] impressive analysis

    Richard Cockett, Literary Review
  • Provocative, frightening, and never more relevant than today as an untested new leader takes charge of the world’s most unpredictable nuclear power

    Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

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