The Not-So-Funny Pages

Pyongyang is not a key stopover on the business-traveler circuit. There's no cushy InterContinental, and the brutal, hermetic regime that runs the place doesn't lure much foreign investment. But the communist state does see a trickle of capitalists, from telecom engineers to bottled-water vendors. And, perhaps most surprisingly, animators. North Korea has some of the world's cheapest cartoonists, typically specialists in the art of propaganda. In 2001 French-Canadian Guy Delisle went to Pyongyang to manage the production of an animated preschool special for French television. "It was based on children's books with rabbits," he says. "I don't even remember the...

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