Yesterday I returned to London and took the same journey as that which prompted my post about JP Morgan’s advert. Happily, I experienced no such outrage this time. I kept my eye out for any follow-up adverts from the JP Morgan campaign, but saw none.
I went to Westminster to see Lord David Alton of Liverpool at ‘the House.’ Lord Alton is a world-renowned activist for human rights in all sorts of contexts and nations; he has become involved in places like Burma, North Korea, Congo, Sudan and Darfur, as well as engaging in long-running debates on issues like reproductive rights. I went to meet him to discuss writing the final chapters of our book, Building Bridges, which is about North Korea.
I say ‘our book’ because we are co-authors. He is the one with the expertise; I am the one with the time to sit down and write. Learning and writing about North Korea has been a terrifying and exhilarating process. Now, just two weeks away from our contractual deadline, I shall be sorry to finish.
I was recruited to the project by a contact who works for the publisher Lion Hudson. Prior to the book, I could only claim a tenuous connection to Lord Alton through mutual association with the charity HART, which is run by Caroline (Baroness) Cox. Lady Cox and Lord Alton champion many causes together, including North Korea. My previous work for HART provided, I suppose, a useful ‘ah yes’ moment when the publisher suggested to Lord Alton that I be the one to co-author the book.
I’m pleased to say our meeting went very well. I am also pleased to share the draft blurb for the book, which will be available in early 2013.
How much do you know about North Korea? Depending on whom you ask, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an international laughing-stock, a terrifying nuclear-powered war machine or a humanitarian crisis of nightmarish proportion.
For David Alton, the DPRK is Asia’s tragic and prodigal son, long overdue ‘coming in from the cold’ and returning to the embrace of the international community. The obstacles are gigantic and the record of human suffering is almost beyond description, yet there is still hope for a better future – if only the political and military powers have the courage to seize it.
In this book, David Alton and Rob Chidley paint a practical and compassionate picture of North Korea, from its earliest history, to the tragic division and right up to the present day. In doing so, they present a North Korea that we can understand, approach and reach out to with a glimmer of hope.
Do let me know if you like it. I hope to be able to post more news soon. If the publisher is willing, I will upload a copy of the book cover when it is designed.