A Letter from Inside North Korea











01Dec

Chicken Blood for Breakfast

How's this for a job description: "Bite the head off a chicken and drink its blood"? That's what Hindu priest Ayyappen Panayil did every day as part of his temple duties in Ponkunnon, India. It was perhaps not the healthiest dietary practice, and after 16 years of performing his daily chicken blood-drinking ritual, Ayyappen found himself suffering from a mysterious illness. Doctors diagnosed him with cancer and gave him only one month to live.

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01Jul

A Risky Rendevous

I felt as if I were in a spy movie. As I stood at a designated spot in a Chinese city near the border of North Korea, an unmarked vehicle pulled up. I slipped into the back seat, and the driver whisked me away through a maze of streets. When we reached our destination, I was ushered through a dark alley to the back door of a restaurant. Once inside, I was led to a hidden back room. There, Mrs. Joon was waiting for me. She was visibly apprehensive about our dinner meeting, but she knew that she would have to trust someone if her mission was to succeed.

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