Saturday, October 15, 2011

North Korea: Totally Cut Off From the Outside World

This woman is reading the paper in the subway
The most amazing thing about North Korea to me is that in a time where information is flattening the world North Korean’s live totally cut off from information.  Everything feels stopped in time.  Even when I travel very off the beaten path in Africa there are people with email addresses, access to the internet and cell phones that keep them connected outside their smaller circles.   

Reading the paper on a street corner
In North Korea, the regime has managed to keep the internet and international cell phones out (though it appears that Chinese networks are becoming available to people who live near the border and they allow contact with people outside of  North Korea.)  Mostly people learn about the world through what seemed like one newspaper that was posted in frames on subway platforms and a few public places where people stood to read it together.  There are also a few TV channels but if my watching was any indication of their programming it’s more just a replaying of the propaganda message of the Supreme Leader Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jung il and their activities.

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