How Journalist Suki Kim Became a Reluctant Memoirist

The media in North Korea is tightly controlled by the government. The few foreign journalists let inside the country are strictly supervised, given access only to carefully orchestrated state-sanctioned events. They’re prevented from talking freely with anyone, so it’s nearly impossible for the rest of the world to learn what life really is like there. That’s why investigative journalist Suki Kim decided to go undercover as a teacher in the capital Pyongyang. Over a period of six months, she secretly wrote hundreds of pages of notes, and then smuggled them out of the country. The result of her undercover reporting was her book “Without You, There Is No Us: My Time With the Sons of North Korea’s Elite.” When it was published in the fall of 2014, Suki Kim had prepared herself for a backlash from North Korea. But what she did not prepare for was an even greater backlash at home in the United States.