I was excited to see North Korea Confidential by Daniel Tudor and James Pearson (2015, Tuttle Publishing) added to my library system’s latest arrivals. I was expecting to gain some greater insight into the prison system and persecution of Christians and other minorities in North Korea.
Given that North Korea has number 1 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch list for 13 consecutive years as the worst perpetrator of Christian persecution, I anticipated a lengthy discussion in North Korea Confidential about the plight of Christians.
However, I was a little disappointed to find that there was very little mentioned about Christian persecution in the text. In fact, there was so little that the words “persecution” “religion” and “Christian” did not even appear in the index.
Tudor and Pearson did however state that anyone who is believed to have come into contact with Christian missionaries is considered a political criminal in North Korea and is handed over to the State Security Department (p. 116). But that statement only left me wanting more in depth information.
The rest of the chapter titled “Crime and Punishment in North Korea” does explain the so-called legal system in that country fairly well so that the reader can understand how one is sentenced, often for life and with your entire extended family, if even suspected of a crime.
If you’re looking for an easy read about general cultural information about the hidden culture of North Korea, then North Korea Confidential is perfect for you. However, if you’re hoping for an substance and greater information about Christian and minority persecution, then perhaps you should look elsewhere.