I am encouraged by the responses I've already received for yesterday's posting on Nothing to Envy. Thank you for your feedback and for your interest in learning more about the situation in North Korea.
One important note: The book's title is ironic, and I'm guessing it was chosen deliberately. Before reading the book, I had assumed the title implied that we, the readers, had nothing to envy with respect to the lives of North Koreans. However, as I later discovered, the phrase nothing to envy has an entirely different meaning to the citizens of North Korea.
While at school, children learn a song often sung by their teachers -"We Have Nothing to Envy in the World". The tune is as familiar to them as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." After reading the accounts of the six defectors in the book Nothing to Envy, it's hard not to choke up when seeing the lyrics to the song:
Our father, we have nothing to envy in the world.
Our house is within the embrace of the Workers' Party.
We are all brothers and sisters.
Even if a sea of fire comes toward us, sweet children do not need to be afraid,
Our father is here.
We have nothing to envy in this world.