As we settle into our corner table at Rowntree’s Cafe in Bury town centre, my North Korean lunch companion is chatting to our Indonesian waitress about their adopted home. I am still reeling from Jihyun Park’s recent memoir, which I finished the night before.
In 1996, Park was working as a maths teacher on the outskirts of the city of Chongjin in North Korea’s north-east — a job secured, in part, by her mother bribing local university officials with Chinese cigarettes and dried octopus.
The country was undergoing a vicious famine, and . . .
October 3, 2022