Washington Post Beijing bureau chief and North Korea specialist Anna Fifield has come a long way since she started her schooling at Raureka Primary School.

Fifield has just published her first book, The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un, and is touring the US to promote it.

She told Asia NZ her book is not quite a biography about the North Korean leader, but gives enough information to create a portrait of him.

"When I was going to North Korea during the Kim Jong-il period, I could see how broken the economy was and how