The Current

How writer Suki Kim embedded herself among North Korea's elite

For two semesters, Suki Kim taught English to the sons of North Korea's elite at a private university. She emerged with a book about a segment of that society that has, until now, been mostly hidden from the outside world....
Suki Kim wrote about her experiences in her book, "Without You There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite."

For two semesters, Suki Kim taught English to the sons of North Korea's elite at a private university. She emerged with a book about a segment of that society that has, until now, been mostly hidden from the outside world.

Spend any time in North Korea, and you'll soon start to find that song very familiar. You might even find yourself humming along... like Ms. Kim did.

The song is titled Without You, There is No Motherland, and it's ubiquitous in North Korea. It's a sort of unofficial national anthem -- a tribute to the dear leader, and a symbol of the love and dedication North Koreans feel for their head of state.

It's also where the Korean-American writer got the title for her latest book, Without You There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite.

The book is set in the summer of 2011, when Ms. Kim had arrived in North Korea to teach at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology -- or PUST -- an exclusive, all-male academy, and the only private university in the country.

Suki Kim is the author of Without You There Is No Us -- My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite. She joined us from our studio in New York City.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar.

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