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Head-to-Head: A Meeting of Inspired Minds

Undercover in North Korea

Writer Suki Kim in conversation with Martin Wolf, Staff Writer and Culture Desk Editor, Der Spiegel

Suki Kim is the only person ever to have conducted undercover immersive journalism in North Korea. Born and raised in South Korea, now based in New York, she traveled to Pyongyang for the first time in 2002, joining and writing about a Kim Jong-il loyalist group. She returned regularly for what would become a decade-long investigation, reporting on North Korean defectors and, from Pyongyang, witnessing events such as Kim Jong-il’s sixtieth birthday celebration and his funeral nine years later. In 2011, the final year of his reign, she spent six months undercover as an English teacher, living in a locked compound of a military guarded all male university for Pyongyang’s future leaders. It was there that she gained unparalleled insight into the psychology of North Korea’s elite and its state during regime change. In this talk, Kim discusses the country’s recent history and the book that resulted from her unprecedented access, Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite (2014).

Martin Wolf has been a staff writer and culture desk editor at Der Spiegel for more than twenty years. He is also the commissioning editor of the end-of-the-year issue, Spiegel Chronik. In 2008, Wolf traveled to North Korea to cover the New York Philharmonic’s historic concert in Pyongyang.

The conversation will be followed by a reception.

This event is free of charge.

In cooperation with the Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof Stuttgart and the Deutch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart.

The Head-to-Head series is generously supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH.

02 Dec 19
Nonfiction & Journalism
19:30 - 21:00
Hospitalhof Stuttgart
Büchsenstraße 33
70174 Stuttgart
Speaker: Suki Kim

This event took place on December 2, 2019.

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