April 13, 2024

Suki Kim: The ethical boundaries of writing in North Korea

Author says getting an account from inside North Korea, and PUST, outweighed concerns over transparency

There are a couple of scenes from Suki Kim’s recently released memoir where she nearly lets down her guard.

In Without You, There is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite Kim, a novelist and non-fiction author, documents the two terms she spent teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) in 2011. The school, North Korea’s first privately funded university, was launched in late 2010 largely due to the efforts of evangelical Christian James Kim – who also founded the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in northeastern China – and is primarily staffed by the devout.

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