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Bandi grew dissatisfied with his role in promoting the Kim regime's idolization and portraying North Korea as a perfect society

We have all heard about stories of outspoken critics of Kim Jong Un's regime, but what separates this particular author named Bandi from others is that he still resides in North Korea. However, Bandi is not his real name. According to Do Hee-Youn, an activist with The Citizens Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, the author's actual identity is known only to him and two other South Koreans. His outfit, as well as other dissident organizations, was important in smuggling Bandi's literature into South Korea and getting it published.

Who is Bandi, the author?


Do does, however, disclose certain facts about Bandi's history, which he concedes might betray the writer's identity and endanger his life. "What we sensed when we got the word from the writer's family was that this writer wants his work to be recognized to the world, even if he is executed," Do explain. Bandi, he claims, was born in 1950 and presently serves on the Central Committee of the Joseon Writers Alliance, North Korea's official literary group. He was also a well-known writer for a variety of government-sanctioned periodicals.

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However, Do said that Bandi grew dissatisfied with his role in promoting the Kim regime's idolization and portraying North Korea as a perfect society while, in reality, repression and famine were widespread. Chang Hae-sung worked as a reporter for the North Korean Central Television Commission until fleeing to the South in 1996, silently shared Bandi's dissatisfaction with the limits imposed on them, but many are afraid to openly express their dissatisfaction."

'When may I write the things that I wish to write?' he said. He was transported to criminal prison camp 15 in Yoduk because of this one sentence, and he committed suicide there." Chang remarked.

About the book 'Accusation'

Bandi allegedly authored his critical and satirical writings in secret over the previous two decades, depicting how North Korean families struggle and suffer under what he regards as the oppressive, dysfunctional, and ridiculous communist regime. The Accusation is a compilation of seven short tales by Bandi. The City of Ghost, for example, is about a family exiled from Pyongyang after the youngster was shocked when he saw a picture of Kim Sung Il, the country's first leader, and a godlike figure.

ALSO READ: bizarre things that only exist in north korea

A Long Distance is a story about a son who cannot visit his dying mother because of travel restrictions. But it is in Red Mushroom where Bandi directly challenges the Kim family regime by writing a fictional account of a revolution to overthrow the North Korean dictatorship. South Korean broadcaster KBS has made a radio drama series based on The Accusation. One segment includes a parody of a beggar's song mocking the Kim regime.

"The party proudly hollers like pigs. In the radio rendition, a figure portraying Bandi sings, "Greedily the government shovels it in." Korean activists are attempting to get copies of the book into North Korea under the table. The US State Department has donated funds to assist print the book, according to human rights campaigner Do. He compares Bandi to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian author and vocal critic of the Soviet Union who helped bring the Gulag forced labor camp system to the attention of the world. In 1970, Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In conclusion, Do claimed he hasn't spoken to Bandi in months and is afraid that North Korean officials may have discovered him and imprisoned or killed him. (VOA/JC)

(This article is a rehash from Voice Of America)


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