April 14, 2024

Trapped in Free Market Korea: A Holiday in Rason

Isn’t North Korea hilarious? After all, who can take those clichéd slogans seriously? And what about the uniforms? The comic, macho aggression? And how about the Kims themselves? Isn’t it all such a laugh?

Thanks to my time in Rason, I don’t find North Korea funny; I don’t think I ever will again. Every time someone links me to “Kim Jong Il looking at things”, or a particularly bombastic North Korean press release, I can barely raise a smile, let alone the gut wrenching belly laugh that’s supposed to greet any vision of his beaming, beloved face.

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