CBS's venerated 60 Minutes did a piece last Sunday on the bizarre story of Charles Robert Jenkins, the former US Army sergeant who deserted to North Korea from his patrol near the DMZ in 1965. We've heard a bit about the ordeal over the last 6 months or so as he and his Japanese wife and their children finally made it out of North Korea after nearly 40 years, eventually to Japan, then to a US Army jail to serve time for desertion. You can see some of the video or read the entire transcript of the piece here.
North Korea has always been a place of fascination since the end of the Korean war some 52 years ago (actually the Korean War never officially ended, it is still in a truce), but the first-hand account of this westerner living there is mind boggling. The oppression and abject squalor the North Korean population is forced to live under is sobering, its got to be one of the most inhumane settings in the world (up there with parts of Sudan and the Taliban Afghanistan). I'm assuming Jenkins has a book in the works, it could be an interesting read.