Three unhelpful but common exaggerations about North Korea

‘Strange,’ ‘unpredictable’ country actually has a transparent logic to its actions
November 20th, 2013
1

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.

Why

You have reached your limit of 5 free articles this month. Subscribe today for unlimited access. Prices start from just $2.88 per week
Existing users, please sign in here:
Remember Me

Recommended for You

Human rights in North Korea: Are they actually improving?

Human rights in North Korea: Are they actually improving?

Could human rights be improving in North Korea, a country long viewed as ranking among the worst of the worst when it comes to human rights abuses? From the unprecedented nature of North Korean dip…

October 30th, 2014
0
Shinn: South Korea must work toward unification

Shinn: South Korea must work toward unification

South Korean discourse on unification gained new energy earlier this year when President Park Geun-hye called unification a “jackpot" (daebak). While unification has never been far from the heart…

October 29th, 2014
1

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.