The Aquariums of Pyongyang

The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Ten Years in A North Korean Gulag

eBook - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
As tensions between the US and North North Korea continue to escalate, stories of life inside our long-time opponent are more relevant than ever.
North Korea's leaders have consistently kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education."
Kang Chol-Hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea.
Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2001.
ISBN: 9780465011049
Branch Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 238 p.)
Additional Contributors: Rigoulot, Pierre
ebrary, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 27, 2017

Kang Chol-Hwan's family was prosperous and respected in Japan. But they were staunch believers in communism and chose to move to North Korea with the promise that they would be an important asset to the cause. They soon feel prey to the unpredictability and brutality of the reigning government. His grandfather disappeared and it was later found that he had been arrested on charges of being an enemy of the state. As they do, they arrested the rest of the family as well, including nine-year-old Kang.

This book tells of his life in the prison camp where he and his family grew up. It is similar in bleakness and depravity to Camp 14 and other books by and about people who have escaped from North Korea. He did escape, though he had to leave the rest of this family behind. Told in a very straightforward style.

Apr 11, 2012

This is a truly amazing memoir. Definitely worth the read because the insight provided is incredible.


Add a Quote

Sep 16, 2017

The author was examining his feelings upon being told that he and his family were to be released from the prison called Yodok after 10 years, since he was a young boy. He felt joy, but also fear and moroseness. "Deep down, I had come to love them (the mountain ridges that surround the prison). They had been the bars of my prison and the framework of my life. They were my suffering and my being, bound indissolubly together."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at KCLibrary

To Top