THIS IS PARADISE! is both a shocking and moving portrayal of scenes of every day life in North Korea, a secretive and brutal nation. Hyok Kang writes of the public executions, of the labour camps and mines, the punishment for 'anti-social behaviour', the secret watching of Beijing television, and the spies everywhere who help enforce the regime by denouncing any deviations from the rigidly patrolled norm. And when the famine comes so too does death by starvation of friends and close ones, cannibalism, and political purge. All this is normal for Hyok Kang. After all, the propaganda North Koreans are fed by their government insists that compared to the rest of the world, this is paradise!Woven into this portrayal is the individual story of a boy who likes to draw - some of his accomplished illustrations are included in the book - and of his migration to China as an asylum seeker. This is his story of suffering and survival, and is a rare glimpse of a nation closed to the outside world, whose knowledge of what lies beyond its borders is censured and whose leaders are determined to prevent us from knowing their situation.