About the author
More articles by 'Alek Sigley'
Pyongyang Chronicles: The North Korea I choose to remember
While state police cut short my studies, I also experienced unforgettable beauty and kindness during my time in the DPRK
Pyongyang Chronicles: A modern-day Judas at Kim Il Sung University
An early friendship ends with betrayal, demonstrating how the North Korean system begets hypocrisy and doublethink
Pyongyang Chronicles: ‘Why doesn’t Australia develop nuclear weapons?’
A visit to a North Korean restaurant facilitated frank discussion about racism, the Korean War and the merits of Juche
Pyongyang Chronicles: The North Korean roommates who spied on foreign students
It was an open secret that local students wrote reports on us, but some took their mission more seriously than others
Pyongyang Chronicles: Why North Korean scholars love Shakespeare but hate Freud
Professors at the DPRK’s top university are passionate and curious but face considerable obstacles in their work
Pyongyang chronicles: Why the DPRK is no fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings’
All education must be revolutionary, and Kim Il Sung University instructors had no time for fantasies of Middle Earth
Pyongyang chronicles: Late-night mahjong and K-pop at the DPRK’s top university
Foreign students’ lives in North Korea can vary dramatically based on where they’re from — and how much money they have
Ask a North Korean: What is retirement like for the elderly?
Most retirees fend for themselves and eek out a living at marketplaces due to collapse of public distribution system
Pyongyang chronicles: The privileges of life as a foreign student in North Korea
Students enjoy wider access than almost all other outsiders, but they can still run afoul of DPRK authorities
Ask a North Korean: What are toilets like in the DPRK?
Public restrooms and toilet paper are in short supply, while expense of flush toilets results in a porcelain ‘hierarchy’