In May 2018, Michael spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed.
Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw – and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn’t want him to see – but recounts the conversations he had with the country’s inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited – one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure. His diary will be accompanied by full-colour photographs throughout.
“It was difficult to use a conventional voice-recorder or notebook in North Korea. I always felt I was being watched. But in the evening, back in my hotel room I kept an uncensored record of my feelings and impressions of this extraordinary country. I’ve put this together in book form and it’ll be coming out next year. Watch this space…” Michael Palin