Taylor Darby is a pseudonym for a foreign diplomat that worked in Pyongyang before leaving in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foreigners must learn to accept the political system but remain critical, while caring for their own mental health
For most in Pyongyang, worshipping the Kim family is just a part of the 9-to-5 grind
The system is stifling for Koreans and foreigners alike, but human interactions carry one through difficulties
North Koreans in the capital city seemed to genuinely believe conflict could break out at anytime
State travel agencies plan every detail of visitors’ itineraries, careful to show only the best it has to offer
North Korea’s extreme social controls mean a complex process for any travel request, even for foreign diplomats
From Korean hot pot to sturgeon blood, the DPRK capital has a range of restaurant options beyond just burgers and pizza
A handful of specialty eateries serve international fare, but many locals stick to kimchi and Korean classics
North Korean builders are highly skilled, but erratic leadership priorities and few materials make for an unsafe skyline
North Koreans train for hours on end and late into the night to prepare for these events in Pyongyang
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