May 18, 2022


Taylor Darby

Taylor Darby is a pseudonym for a foreign diplomat that worked in Pyongyang before leaving in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A diplomat’s life: Parting advice for those going to work in North Korea

Foreigners must learn to accept the political system but remain critical, while caring for their own mental health

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyDecember 29, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: The mundane, ordinary routines of the North Korean people

For most in Pyongyang, worshipping the Kim family is just a part of the 9-to-5 grind

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyDecember 23, 2021
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The good, the bad and the memorable of expat life in North Korea

The system is stifling for Koreans and foreigners alike, but human interactions carry one through difficulties

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyDecember 15, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: On the ground in Pyongyang during the ‘fire and fury’ era

North Koreans in the capital city seemed to genuinely believe conflict could break out at anytime

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyDecember 9, 2021

A diplomat’s life: Tight schedules and resort-like thrills touring North Korea

State travel agencies plan every detail of visitors’ itineraries, careful to show only the best it has to offer

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyDecember 1, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: Navigating North Korea’s complex travel permission system

North Korea’s extreme social controls mean a complex process for any travel request, even for foreign diplomats

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyNovember 24, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: Pyongyang meals for diners with adventurous palates

From Korean hot pot to sturgeon blood, the DPRK capital has a range of restaurant options beyond just burgers and pizza

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyNovember 17, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: Dining on pizza and ‘meat in bread’ in Pyongyang restaurants

A handful of specialty eateries serve international fare, but many locals stick to kimchi and Korean classics

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyNovember 10, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: The ephemeral beauty of concrete Pyongyang

North Korean builders are highly skilled, but erratic leadership priorities and few materials make for an unsafe skyline

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyNovember 3, 2021
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A diplomat’s life: North Korea’s brutal training for parades and mass games

North Koreans train for hours on end and late into the night to prepare for these events in Pyongyang

Taylor DarbyTaylor DarbyOctober 27, 2021