‘Propulsive . . . Deeply reported and novelistic. I flew through it’ Ed Caesar
‘Jaw dropping even for North Korea . . . A terrific piece of up-close reportage that reads like a spy thriller but is all too real’ Anna Fifield
HOW DID A COLLEGE KID BECOME A GLOBAL FUGITIVE?
In the early 2000s, Adrian Hong was a soft-spoken Yale undergraduate looking for his place in the world. After reading a harrowing account of life inside North Korea, he realised he had found a cause to which he could devote his life.
Hong journeyed to China, outwitting Chinese security services as he helped ferry asylum-seeking North Korean escapees to safety. Meanwhile, Hong’s secret organization, Cheollima Civil Defense (later renamed Free Joseon), began tracking the North Korean government’s activities, and its volatile ruler, Kim Jong-un.
Free Joseon targeted North Korean diplomats who might be persuaded to defect, while drawing up plans for a government-in-exile. After the shocking broad-daylight assassination in 2017 of Kim Jong-nam, the dictator’s older brother, Hong, along with US Marine veteran Christopher Ahn, helped ferry Jong-nam’s family to safety. Then Hong took the group a step further. He initiated a series of high-stakes direct actions, culminating in an armed raid at the North Korean embassy in Madrid – an act that would put Ahn behind bars and turn Hong into one of the world’s most unlikely global fugitives.
The Rebel and the Kingdom is an exhilarating account of how a trip down the safe and well-worn path of activism soon morphed into something extremely dangerous. Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Bradley Hope – who broke numerous details of Hong’s operations in the Wall Street Journal -reveals his remarkable story of idealism and insanity, hubris and heroism, all set within the secret battle for the future of the world’s most mysterious and unsettling nation.
Title: The Rebel and the Kingdom: The True Story of the Secret Mission to Overthrow the North Korean Regime
Author: Hope, Bradley
Publication date: 20/07/2023
Publisher: John Murray Press