February 21, 2024

Why, in North Korea, even birth records can’t be taken at face value

DPRK history is full of powerful men manipulating the past ⁠— researchers must tread carefully

The curse of the North Korea studies researcher is the need to rely on official sources. Getting access to inner-track records is very difficult as the country is so closed off, therefore the research community is forced to start looking for bits of truth in the official propaganda.

No sane person would take 100% of what North Korea asserts at face value, especially since their discourse changes from time to time. However, no sane person would also assert that 100% of what they say is a lie either.