March 02, 2024

Book review: ‘From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: How the Hardliners Prevailed’

Former German Ambassador Thomas Schäfer recounts the challenges and absurdities of being a diplomat in Pyongyang

It’s rare for German politicians and diplomats to give their accounts of North Korean politics. One of the only such instances came in 1991, when Hans Maretzki published a book on his stint as East German ambassador to the DPRK from 1987 to 1990.

It is thus fortunate to have an informative new book from Thomas Schäfer, published in both German and English, on his experience as the German ambassador to North Korea: "From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: How the Hardliners Prevailed.” 

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