20 December 2009
Some Mysteries III
James Church is the nom de plume for a "former Western intelligence officer with experience in Asia."
My only experience with anything North Korean was a classmate in my "homeroom"/core class while at Beijing Language Institute. He was a quiet man whose dress reminded me of Mormon missionaries. When not in class, he was always with at least one but usually two other countrymen who were also studying Chinese language. They would walk along in black trench coats, looking very serious. Once our teacher invited everyone for a class party at his apartment in the staff housing building. That was the first time we were able to have some meaningful social conversation and actually saw our North Korean laugh. We never did talk deeply about politics or what he could or could not do. He must have been very politically correct to be able to go study in China.
So, one can't tell the authenticity of this former Western intelligence agent's descriptions of how things work in Pyongyang. Yet, this is a work of fiction and I don't have that little bit of knowledge that would spoil a good yarn (don't get me started again on writers' lack of research and confirmation of facts!) and I really enjoyed Inspector O's style and attitude in life.