Three unhelpful but common exaggerations about North Korea

‘Strange,’ ‘unpredictable’ country actually has a transparent logic to its actions
November 20th, 2013
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Nearly two decades have passed since the famine and economic crisis prompted North Korea to allow a number of foreign actors into the country, yet despite of the increased flow of information the DPRK is, by and large, still placed within the “bad, mad or sad,” paradigm described by British academic Hazel Smith.

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About the Author

Gianluca Spezza

Gianluca is the research director of NK News. He focuses his research on North Korean society, the role of education in the DPRK, gender issues in North Korea and North Korean ideology. He holds a Master in Humanities from the University of Torino (Italy) and a M.Soc.Sc. in Asian Studies from the University of Turku, Finland. He worked in East Asia (including South Korea) as an education consultant for five years. Mail: [email protected] Follow: @KazakhPilot

Join the discussion

  • Kenneth Vaughan

    While the rhetoric was over the top, the quote was real. I’m not sure if the quote was trying to articulate that North Korea isn’t secretive, or that the pictures people take aren’t rare. It’s true that these pictures on guided tours, not dissimilar to the kind the author is familiar with are not rare. It’s not true that North Korea isn’t secretive. Just listen to researchers discuss the problem of data, daily life, or political structure. Again, not sure what Spezza’s point exactly was.