April 21, 2024

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alek Sigley

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.

Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans go to the dentist?

A defector explains why many must procure their own implants, the growing popularity of teeth whitening and more

Alek SigleyAlek Sigley | Hyun-seung LeeJune 1, 2022
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans think about different car brands?

Defector from an elite family explains the DPRK’s love of foreign cars, why so many drive wood-powered vehicles and more

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyMarch 4, 2022
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyJanuary 19, 2022
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyDecember 30, 2021
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyDecember 1, 2021
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyNovember 4, 2021
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleySeptember 15, 2021
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyAugust 18, 2021
Ask A North Korean

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyJuly 25, 2021
Features

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

Alek SigleyAlek SigleyApril 30, 2019