June 02, 2023

North Korea’s Mountain Man Goes Hiking in the Axis of Evil

How one New Zealander explored North Korea's untouched mountain ranges

Over the past year a New Zealander by the name of Roger Shepherd has had almost unprecedented access to North Korea. He has spent nearly three months in the country over four visits, and was allowed, even encouraged, to travel far and wide into the remotest corners of the country. But how does someone like Shepherd get this kind of access? Is Roger a diplomat? An NGO worker? No, Roger is a hiker.

Owner of Hike Korea, Roger recently lectured a large audience in Seoul’s luxurious Somerset Palace on behalf of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch. Roger was talking to promote a photo journal detailing his extraordinary adventures across the mountains of North Korea, and also to promote his upcoming Korean TV documentary. But for the most of his presentation, self-promotion was left to one side in favor of simply regaling the audience with stories and photos of a very unique trip across the spine of the peninsula.