North Korea In the Land of the Single Tune

A visitor to Pyongyang discovers an eerily calm world where radios can pick up only the official station, and the cold war never stopped playing

As one of the most reclusive countries in the world, North Korea has long been closed to even the faintest whisper of an alien idea. Yet when a British passport holder recently went to the North Korean embassy in Beijing and expressed a desire to visit the Hermit Kingdom, he was warmly received. London does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, he was reminded, but he was more than welcome to come in. Not only would the authorities take care of his visa; they would also confirm plane tickets, provide him with a hotel and meals, set him up with a...

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