December 04, 2022
Columns

Why North Korean state media delicately dances around taboo topics

Marketplaces, central supply networks and even census data are all off-limits, sometimes for reasons entirely unclear

Communist countries have never been known for openness, but even judged by such standards, North Korea looks very secretive. 

All economic statistics, for example, have been kept confidential unless explicitly declared otherwise by the relevant authorities. From North Korean publications one cannot learn how many trucks and buses are in the country, what the prevalence of diseases is, and who holds key positions in the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee bureaucracy.