Journalist discusses going undercover in North Korea


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Best-selling author and investigative journalist Suki Kim will discuss her rare experience “Undercover in North Korea” during the Oct. 18 annual UofL lecture in Asian democracy at the Louisville Free Public Library.

    Kim’s public talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the main library, 301 York St. UofL’s Center for Asian Democracy is presenting the lecture with the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana as part of the Louisville Free Public Library’s fall author series. Although the event is free, online registration is requested at to reserve seats.

    A book-signing session will follow her discussion, moderated by Mark Hebert, UofL director of programming and production.

    Kim’s New York Times best-selling book “Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite” chronicles her six months teaching English to the 19-year-old sons of North Korea’s ruling class at a new university staffed by foreigners.

    The Korean-American journalist went undercover in 2011 as a missionary and a teacher to live in the walled, heavily guarded campus of 270 male students. She kept notes secretly and flew out just days after the death of leader Kim Jong-il.

    Kim’s first novel, “The Interpreter,” was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Slate and The New Republic; the New York-based writer has been featured on CNN and is noted for a 2015 TED talk.

    For more information, contact Jason Abbott at 502-641-4565 or


    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.