Reading Lesson Online
North Korea (2)

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This lesson is based on an article from THE WEEK about the previous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il. One might think that all the suffering in North Korea has been caused by people placing their trust in a hopeless philosophy. But this article shows the character of the man who continued the oppressive 'communist' regime that his father had established, and who tried to keep his real personality hidden behind giant posters and propaganda.

As there was so little information about Kim Jong-il, journalists and the intelligence community used to interview the people that used to cook for him. This article is as much about food as it is about the man. You will be surprised by the food that he wanted to eat, as well as amazed by the length and expense that he was prepared to go to in order to get his food. There is an unbelievable comparison between his diet, and the food that the rest of the population had to eat!

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You can do this reading lesson online of you are at advanced or proficiency level English (C1 and C2).

Language Focus

This lesson starts with some questions to consider about food. What food would you eat if money wasn't a problem? Would you go to restaurants more often? I have then written a list of all the foods mentioned in the article. You need to decide whether they were eaten by the general population or Kim Jong-il. Who do you think ate writhing fish, durians and sea-urchins?

There is then a selection of words and collocations that I have taken from the text for you to learn. This is then followed by reading and comprehension questions.

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