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Michael Malice shares book, experience in North Korea

Morgan Taylor | Staff Photographer Michael Malice speaks about his experience visiting North Korea and relates it to his book, Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, in Anspach Hall on Wednesday night. Malice talked about the control in North Korea including current-day concentration camps and some of their former leaders. "The control is far more Pervasive than people think or can even imagine," says Malice.

Getting up close and personal with a Communist dictator might be the epitome of intimidation, but for author Michael Malice, it was just another day at work.

The author of Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong il, shared his stories with one of Central Michigan Unversity’s newest Registered Student Organizations, Liberty in North Korea, or LiNK. The goal of LiNK is to rescue two North Korean refugees by the end of the school year.

“It’s almost impossible to describe what it’s like stepping foot in North Korea,” Malice said of his experience.

The idea for the book came when Malice’s friend suggested he write a book about the deceased leader.

“I was very, very nervous, especially having this book in mind,” he said. “I’m shocked by how overwhelmingly positive it is and how supportive people were (of the book.) It’s very, very flattering.”

Malice, who was born in the former Soviet Union, described the impact visiting North Korea had on him.

“Instead of this being an ideological project it hits close to home,” he said.

With a reputation for gloom, despair and a complete lack of personal freedom, Malice said he was surprised to see people doing things like skipping on the streets and having moments of happiness.

Yet the horrors were still there, and Malice said he feels the need to spread awareness regarding what’s going on in North Korea.

“I at least have to try to do something,” he said. “Being Russian and Jewish I had this big sense of survivors guilt. That could have been me in those concentration camps.”

Victoria Dennis, the Students for Liberty campus coordinator, was moved by Malice’s stories.

“It’s something I think is really important because North Korea is one the most unfree places,” said Dennis, a New Baltimore sophomore. “People are dying everyday in concentration camps.”

Dennis also said that hearing someone speak who visited North Korea was powerful.

“I’ve done my own research but hearing his perspective from going to North Korea was very compelling,” she said.

LiNK is planning to raise awareness about the situation in North Korea and hold fundraisers to raise the money needed to rescue two refugees throughout this school year. It’s around $2,500 to rescue one refugee.