January 21, 2022

About the author

Alek Sigley

Alek Sigley is a PhD student at Stanford University’s Modern Thought and Literature program, where he is writing a dissertation on North Korea. From 2018-2019 he studied for a master’s degree in contemporary North Korean fiction at Kim Il Sung University’s College of Literature. He speaks Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. Follow him on Twitter @AlekSigley.

More articles by 'Alek Sigley'

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans get a driver’s license?

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans get a driver’s license?

Fuel shortages mean most get little driving practice before hitting the road, but there are ways to cheat the system

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans get a driver’s license?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley January 19, 2022
Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans like to go camping?

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans like to go camping?

Travel restrictions mostly rule out leisure camping, but there are other ways people spend time in the great outdoors

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans like to go camping?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley December 30, 2021
Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think of regime sympathizers?

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think of regime sympathizers?

Former Pyongyang elite says few care about overseas supporters and responds to those who doubt defector stories

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think of regime sympathizers?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley December 1, 2021
Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think about traveling abroad?

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think about traveling abroad?

Visiting another country is an unattainable dream for most, but there are ways for a fortunate few to holiday overseas

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think about traveling abroad?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley November 4, 2021
Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans typically eat?

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans typically eat?

Most eat simple Korean fare, but restaurants have also exploded in popularity among those who can afford to eat out

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans typically eat?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley September 15, 2021
Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans believe in UFOs?

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans believe in UFOs?

Schools only briefly cover astronomy, and most people are too focused on surviving to care about speculative science

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans believe in UFOs?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley August 18, 2021
Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans care for their mental health?

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans care for their mental health?

The state views mental illness as an ideological problem, and North Koreans lack access to therapy and medical treatment

Ask a North Korean: How do North Koreans care for their mental health?
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley July 25, 2021
Dining out in the DPRK capital: Pyongyang’s (surprisingly) good restaurants

Dining out in the DPRK capital: Pyongyang’s (surprisingly) good restaurants

As consumer choice for the upper classes has grown, so too have options for eating out

Dining out in the DPRK capital: Pyongyang’s (surprisingly) good restaurants
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley April 30, 2019
Guitar Hero and Google Maps, DPRK style: a closer look at some North Korean apps

Guitar Hero and Google Maps, DPRK style: a closer look at some North Korean apps

From getting directions around town to playing music, here's what to buy at a Pyongyang app store

Guitar Hero and Google Maps, DPRK style: a closer look at some North Korean apps
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley February 15, 2019
What to buy inside a North Korean app store

What to buy inside a North Korean app store

From video games to language learning, Pyongyangites increasingly have plenty of choices

What to buy inside a North Korean app store
Alek Sigley
Alek Sigley February 1, 2019