Regular price: $19.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Throughout the late 1970s and early '80s, dozens of Japanese citizens were abducted from coastal Japanese towns by North Korean commandos. In what proved to be part of a global project, North Korea attempted to reeducate the abductees and train them to spy on the state's behalf. When the project faltered, the abductees were hidden in a series of guarded communities known as "Invitation-Only Zones" - the fiction being that these were exclusive enclaves, not prisons.
In 2002, Kim Jong Il admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens and returned five of them (the other eight, he said, had died). From the moment that Robert S. Boynton first saw a photograph of these men and women, he became obsessed with the window their story provided into the vexed politics of Northeast Asia. In The Invitation-Only Zone, he untangles the logic behind the kidnappings and shows why some Japanese citizens described them as "their 9/11". He tells the story of how dozens were abducted and reeducated; how they married and had children; and how they lived anonymously as North Korean citizens. He speaks with nationalists, diplomats, abductees, and even crab fishermen, unearthing the bizarre North Korean propaganda tactics and the peculiar cultural interests of both countries.
A deeply reported, thoroughly researched treatise on the power struggle of one of the most important areas in the global economy, Boynton's keen investigation is riveting and revelatory.
©2016 Robert S. Boynton (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By A.J. Wilson on 02-14-16

Over enthusiastic reader!

I prefer books to be read , not performed . I felt this narrator's delivery detracted from the content. I couldn't and won't listen to him again. Book content is OK, but doesn't draw any good conclusions.

Read More Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By John Brown on 11-28-16

Amazing research

Robert does an amazing job humanizing the sad and tangled stories of each abductee. His ability to provide context was the highlight for me.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2017 Audible, Inc