February 21, 2024

Enjoying a very unusual life indeed: North Korea in 1984

Lankov says life for a foreign visitor in 1980s Pyongyang had its own pleasures, amusements

This is the first in a five-part series by Dr. Andrei Lankov on his life in North Korea’s expatriate community in the North Korea of the 1980s.

It is sometimes surprising to notice the fact that you are getting old, so some events of your life have gradually drifted from the humble realm of private experiences to the loftier realm of history. The present author is 50 years old (alas!), and it has been nearly 30 years since I first arrived in North Korea. The date, to be precise, was September 10, 1984.