NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- A committee has formed in New York to nominate a dissident writer residing in North Korea for the Nobel Prize in literature.
The writer, whose identity was not disclosed during a press conference on Wednesday in Flushing, has published a book in South Korea and goes by the pseudonym "Teacher Bandi," South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
According to the committee, Teacher Bandi belongs to a state-operated writers alliance inside North Korea. His book is an eyewitness' account of the contradictions that plague Pyongyang's political system and his direct experience of the ongoing deaths of North Koreans due to starvation.
Two U.S.-based North Korea defector and human rights groups behind the new steering committee said the writer still lives in North Korea, and for the sake of his own safety his name is not being publicized.
The two groups said the book, titled "Charge," was first published in South Korea when a manuscript was secretly funneled to a publishing house.
The author began writing the book, the committee said, because he wanted to bring charges to a destructive political system.
The committee said plans are under way to translate "Charge" into English and said they hoped the publication of the book would enable people around the world to take a stand on behalf of North Korea human rights.
South Korean television network SBS reported the book is a first. While defectors have published many books critical of the North Korean regime, "Charge" is the first case of a book that was published by a writer still in the North.