North Korea – A Peek into the Hermit Kingdom

September 17, 2008

Kim Jong-Il
Even in death former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il watches over his people with a stern eye

Speculation is rife over the health of North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. In a manner befitting all dictators, actual hard facts have been difficult to come by yet it’s quite obvious that something is happening in country. Recall only months ago all the speculation regarding the health of Fidel Castro and what his death would do to Cuba.

Naturally, the topic of North Korea after Kim Il-Sung has been played up in the media. Some suggest that his illness could open the door to Korean reunification. Others are taking a more cautious wait and see attitude.

This is all the more fascinating because the rule of the Il family in North Korea has been marked by an uber-paranoia about foreign influence and subversion. Coined “The Hermit Kingdom“, access to the approved non-tourist parts of North Korea (of which there are few) is incredibly difficult to obtain. Jerry Guo shares his experience of travel through North Korea with Chinese tourists: Read the rest of this entry »