Quotes by: Barbara Demick
Gonpo Tso was born a princess. As a young woman, she dressed in fur-trimmed robes with fat ropes of coral beads strung around her neck. She lived in an adobe castle on the edge of the Tibetan plateau with a reception room large enough to accommodate the thousand Buddhist monks who once paid tribute to her father.
North Korea, under its thirtysomething Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, is no country for old men. The latest casualty in Kim's ongoing purge of the senior military command was the defense minister, Hyon Yong-chol, who reportedly committed the classic old man's offense of falling asleep in a meeting.
By the mid-1990s, nearly everything in North Korea was worn out, broken, malfunctioning. The country had seen better days.
North Korea's whole idea is to create a crisis to solve a crisis. They're so poor and they're so desperate that they realize that this bombastic rhetoric can drive the South Korean stock market down and get the U.S. in a tizzy. And it's a game they've been playing for many, many years.
Televisions and radios are locked on government frequencies - it is a serious crime to listen to a foreign broadcast. As a result, North Koreans think that they live in the best country in the world and that, as difficult as their lives may be, everybody else has it much worse.
Kim Jong-un's style is more suggestive of Saddam Hussein or his murderous son, Uday Hussein.
North Korea is not an undeveloped country; it is a country that has fallen out of the developed world.
In 2012, a five-year-old girl in Shandong province described to me how ten officials had chased her six-months-pregnant mother through the fields to prevent the birth of the family's second child, a boy. She died during the procedure.
The anti-Japanese resistance was as familiar a theme in North Korean cinema as cowboys and Indians was in early Hollywood.
It's frightening to think about more sanctions. When I've met North Koreans in China, they've said to me, 'You have no idea how difficult our lives are. We live like dogs.' They wake up in the morning wondering what they're going to eat for dinner.
In the 1990s, the United States offered to help North Korea with its energy needs if it gave up its nuclear weapons programme.
North Korea is probably the only country in the world deliberately kept out of the Internet.
The Uighurs are a Turkic people more closely related to Uzbeks and Kazakhs than to Chinese.