August 10, 2020

Why North Korea’s dreams of becoming a tourism hotspot were always doomed
The Warmbier case is the latest disaster in a long-failing project

Disclaimer: this piece was written before the tragic news of Otto Warmbier's death.

Every North Korean watcher remembers a number of instances when international media began to write (at great length and with genuine enthusiasm) about some imminent dramatic change in North Korea’s policy, usually implied to be the start of a miraculous transformation of the country into a wonder of East Asia.