Only Beautiful, Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea


Please note venue changed to Oksenberg Conference Room

Coverage of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) all too often focuses solely on nuclear proliferation, military parades, and the personality cult around its leaders. As the British ambassador to North Korea, John Everard had the rare experience of living there from 2006, when the DPRK conducted its first nuclear test, to 2008, just before Kim Jong Il’s stroke. While stationed in Pyongyang, Everard’s travels around the DPRK provided him with numerous opportunities to meet and converse with North Koreans.

Only Beautiful, Please, Everard's new book, goes beyond official North Korea to unveil the human dimension of life in that hermetic nation. In it, Everard recounts his impressions of the country and its people, his interactions with them, and his observations on their way of life. He provides a picture as well of the life of foreigners in this closed society, considers how the DPRK evolved to its current state, and discusses the failure of current approaches to tackle the challenges that it throws up. The book is illustrated with striking and never-before-seen photographs taken by Everard during his stay in North Korea.

About the Speaker

During his twenty-seven year career as a British diplomat, John Everard worked in a variety of countries and was appointed ambassador twice (to Belarus and to Uruguay) before undertaking his final assignment as British ambassador to North Korea. Everard is now a consultant for the UN and resides with his wife in New York City.