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Thae Yong-ho: ‘The Accusation’ presents vivid descriptions of N.K. society

Thae Yong-ho: ‘The Accusation’ presents vivid descriptions of N.K. society

Posted March. 30, 2017 07:06,   

Updated March. 30, 2017 07:11

“The images of North Korea described in the book were so vivid that when I was walking outside my home after reading the book, I could hardly figure out whether I was walking along a street in Seoul or Pyongyang.”

Thae Yong-ho, former North Korean deputy ambassador to the U.K., made the remarks saying that the images depicted in the book were the same as what he experienced in North Korea in person. The book is “The Accusation” (published by Dasan Books) written by Bandi, who is nicknamed "(Alexander) Solzhenitsyn in North Korea."

“International literature and Human Rights Conference: 2017 Dialogue on human rights in North Korea with international publishers” took place at Seoul Garden Hotel in Mapo district in Seoul on Wednesday to commemorate the publishing of “The Accusation.” The event, which was hosted by Happy Unification, a civic group for North Korean human rights, brought together officials from the publishing industry in the U.S. and Europe including Willy Fautre, director at the Human Rights Without Border; Pier Rigullo, director of the society and history institute in France; Barbara Zitwer, a publishing agent in the U.S.; and human rights activists for North Korea. Also in attendance were Thae, former South Korean Prime Minister Noh Jae-bong, and writer Nam Jeong-wook.

“The method using recollection, dreams and symbols and the techniques aimed at avoiding the didactic burden illustrate that this writer is great,” Rigullo said in keynote speech on the day. “The publishing of this book outside North Korea should be encouraged and advocated.”

"The Accusation" is a collection of seven short stories that criticize the North Korean regime at the time of the "March of Hardships" in the 1980s and 1990s. The copyright of the book has been exported to 21 countries starting with France in 2014. Deborah Smith, who translated "The Veterinarian," the international category winner of the Man Booker Prizes by Korean novelist Han Kang last year, translated the book into English, and received a translation prize from PEN, the U.K. writers’ association. Happy Unification, which acquired the script in 2013, introduced Bandi as a male anti-North Korea writer who was born in 1950, and is living near the North Korean capital Pyongyang.