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Guide of the Week: North Korea

With North Korea once again pushing its way to the front of the headlines, this is a good time to show off a librarian produced resource guide from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki on this pariah nation:

North Korea Country Guide (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)

Like the other excellent country guides produced by the UCB govpubs library, this guide is broken into the following sections:

The Government Information section indicates that the main official page for North Korea is a dot com and appears to be linked to an organization called the Korea Friendship Association. In addition there are two unlabeled portraits on the North Korea home page. I suppose they are current leader Kim Jon Il and his father Kim Il Sung. But I guess the North Korea web authors feel that only people who know that for sure will be visiting the North Korea web site.

As mentioned in other highlights of UCB country guides, the Country Profiles section features profiles of North Korea from many international organizations and a number of individual countries. If you question the impartiality of US assessments of North Korea, this section may give you a more well rounded view.

One of the resources featured under “articles and databases” is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Declassified Documents database at http://www.foia.ucia.gov/. Typing in North Korea yields 1,154 results. Some of them serious and some of them light-hearted like “Agency hosts movie premier and sneak preview” which talked about a showing of the movie In the Company of Spies at CIA headquarters. This particular document also shows the ridiculous secrecy practice by the CIA as this movie press release has a number of redactions, including this bizarre one in the following paragraph:

No visit to the agency would be complete without a trip to the [REDACTED] reports that between 9:30 and 10:55pm, guests spent 2/3 of an average day’s sales, carting away cart-loads of t-shirts, caps, and infants/children’s outfits.

The secret’s out. The CIA has a gift shop. The redaction would look somewhat less silly and pointless if they had just redacted the gift shop manager’s name.

But I digress. The good librarians at the University of Colorado at Boulder have provided a wealth of resources for anyone who wants to take a peak behind the screaming headlines of this deeply insular and often confusion producing country.

Are you a librarian with a handout or guide to an issue in the news? Then link it to the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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