22 January, 2021

North Korea Diary

The upcoming meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will have a momentous impact on North Korea—but the delicious paradox is that all bets are off on that one, including on whether it takes place or not

North Korea Diary
No Cottages in Korea

It was the beginning of autumn in North Korea, or more correctly, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), when we moved there. The hills were auburn and gold when I was driving back from a field trip. The drivers of our vehicles pulled to the side of the road for a smoking break. I got out to stretch my legs and pulled out my camera to take a picture of a beautiful cottage in the valley below us. Multi-coloured melons on vines covered the roof of the cottage. But my government minder edged up to me and politely but firmly told me that I should not take the photo. For the rest of the trip, I badgered him about why I could not take that photo. At first, he was non-committal. Finally, out of exasperation, he told me: “We do not want pictures of poverty going out of our country”.

A Country With No Inside

North Korea was a black box for us, when my wife and I flew in there from...



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