One of the least understood countries in the world, North Korea has long been known for its repressive regime. Yet it is far from being an impenetrable black box. Media flows covertly into the country, and fault lines are appearing in the government's sealed informational borders.
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding.
In May 2016, BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was expelled from North Korea for showing disrespect and 'distorting facts'. He now tells the full story of his visit to the country and explores what his detention and interrogation by senior Korean officials say about this secretive state. He investigates the apparent upturn in the North Korean economy and asks if the signs of improvement in the capital Pyongyang are real. He also examines whether the people there are genuinely loyal to their young leader or whether Kim Jong Un is ruling by reign of terror.
Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea. Having entered the country undercover, Sweeny posed as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics.Drawing on his own experiences and extensive interviews with defectors and key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover provides a rare insight into life in North Korea today while examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.