In See You Again In Pyongyang, author Travis Jeppesen provides a firsthand, in depth insight on the North Korean life during his travels. In a communist country that is fiercely loyal to its leader Kim Jong-un, Jeppesen’s goal is to erase the stereotypes associated with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) through his entries from an American point of view.
Alongside, Jeppesen’s main focus is to learn Korean through a exchange program at a local university. Travis Jeppesen’s goals, use of vivid imagery, and valid sources cultivate a legitimate book. See You Again in Pyongyang opens with the prologue, where Jeppesen explains his love of travel and culture.
Travis Jeppesen proclaims his love for the ambiguous DPRK. He establishes early on that as an American, the enemy of North Korea, he must be respectful. Jeppesen actively works to become more educated on North Korean culture and customs through a local university, making him the first American to study abroad. Throughout the duration of his visit, Travis Jeppesen distinguishes the importance of being respectful of the culture, referring to the tragic death of twenty-one-year-old American Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned for defacing a propaganda poster whilst inebriated.
“If anything, when traveling on an American passport to such a place, one intuits the need to be extra-vigilant in respecting local laws and customs” (Jeppesen 19). North Korea views Americans as an enemy, which stems from America siding with the South Korea during the Korean War. Any act of tampermant, especially by an American citizen, is seen as an attack on the country that results in severe consequences.
The use of sources allows Travis Jeppesen’s work to be valid. In his visit, Jeppesen utilizes Korean tour guides and natives to better his comprehension of North Korean lifestyle. The entries follow the lives of Comrade Kim, Simon, and Jeppesen’s fellow classmates studying abroad. Comrade Kim Nam Ryong is a husband, father, and employee to the Korean State Travel Company. Ryong’s job involves domestic tourism along with managing international affairs.
The use of valid sources caused See You Again In Pyongyang to be a useful device in learning more about North Korean life. Though its validity was solid, the book fell flat due to its constant moving around. Its unclear points made it difficult to keep up. The use of vivid language and intricate diction made it worth reading. The language brought the geography of North Korea to life.