D. B. John dissects in the thriller ‘Infiltrada’ the hell lived by the North Koreans and the role of the regime as an international criminal organization
North Korea is perhaps the most impenetrable, fascinating and problematic place in the world for fiction. A huge concentration camp for 25 million people, a country where you can die for letting dust fall on the portrait of the founder and a regime that boasts of being a powerful international mafia is a place where the limits of reality lost its meaning long ago and madness became routine. Or maybe not. “It is a great mistake to think that it is an irrational regime and that they are crazy, they know what they are doing and that is why they have survived,” tells the Welsh writer DB John, author of Infiltrada (Salamandra) and a great connoisseur of Korea. of the North thanks to his travels and his work as a writer of the memories of the deserter Lee Hyeon-seo.
Actually, the regime is extremely savage capitalism. What Kim wants is to make as much money as he can
Infiltrada is a complex espionage thriller in which CIA agent Jenna Soo-min looks for her sister, whom she refuses to give up for dead after being kidnapped on a beach in South Korea. This search is the engine that serves John to unfold a great international intrigue that has one of its great inducements in its precise and amazing scenes told from the interior of North Korea.
“Despite the control and the fact that you end up sick of propaganda, what you see there is sad: street children, empty factories, but worse is when you meet those who manage to escape, who spend two months in a specialized center in South Korea. learning to live in the world, to take the subway or to use a credit card “, he tells, fascinated, about his stays there.
It is a big mistake to think that it is an irrational regime and that you are crazy. They know very well what they do and that is why they have survived
In the novel, Cho is a high-ranking Communist Party in the time of Kim Jong-il, father of the current leader Kim Jong-un, who survives thanks to his capacity for self-deception until he realizes that something is wrong and that the leaders of the country are essential pieces of the criminal machinery created by the dictatorship under the slogan everything that punishes our enemy is fine. “One of the great strengths of the system is the imposition of myth of the continuous threat,” says John. “That explains why they are proud large-scale methamphetamine producers, their program of kidnapping and indoctrination of South Korean and Japanese citizens or why they devised that madness called Program Seed, a project to create spies from other races trained as children to infiltrate the West. All that is in my novel and maybe that’s why I was afraid that he would not believe. ”
Despite these fears, the Welsh writer was clear from the beginning that the political thesis should rely on a thriller. “The last thing I wanted was for it to be read as an essay, fiction makes you feel paranoia and terror,” he explains before charging. “Actually the regime is extremely savage capitalism, what Kim wants is to make all the money he can, they have abandoned Marxism and replaced it with an ideology that mixes racism, ultranationalism, something of Marx and something of Confucius and that works for them. North Korea belongs to the darkest of the 20th century, it is close to Nazi Germany but has gone further, the Nazis did not send three generations to the concentration camp in a row. ”
The impact of some passages of Infiltrada in the reader can lead him to wonder how an average North Korean survives if he does not die of hunger, something quite common in those parts. D. B. John has some clues: “Fear and paranoia are part of them and help them not to make mistakes. Nobody speaks in public, even with the family, about something important. Criticism does not exist, but they are very good at expressing themselves with practically imperceptible gestures. They never refer to the leader by name, but by one of his innumerable charges and are the kings of euphemism. ”
It is questionable how a regime like that survives, how this totalitarian nightmare is still alive in the 21st century. “Inside Kim has intensified fear and repression – killing even his uncle and a half-brother – and the cult of his person seems increasingly ingrained.His physique is very similar to that of his grandfather Kim Il-sung and that It is something that should not be underestimated, and on the outside it is supported by China and South Korea that avoid collapse and with it, what would mean that 25 million people who are disturbed would leave the world, “he says. And the USA? “As we have seen, they fold up.” After his meeting with Trump, Kim must still be laughing, “John ventures to leave a grim final on the table.