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

North Korean workers abroad aren't slaves

North Korean workers abroad aren't slaves

In the city of Dandong, on the Chinese side of the Yalu River, one can see a long row of restaurants decorated with North Korean flags. Songs about the leaders, Great, Dear and Supreme, are heard from…

November 27th, 2014
1
Kim’s sister a vice department director in Workers’ Party

Kim’s sister a vice department director in Workers’ Party

Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is a vice department director in the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), a Korean Central News Agency r…

November 27th, 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.