North Korea- Secrets and Lies
North Korea's rocket launch failure was a blow to the celebration of the 100th birthday of the dead founding president Kim Il-sung and the rise to power of his grandson Kim Jong-un. The magazine has decided to take another look at North Korea through the eyes of Tomas van Houtryve.
The Kim regime has vanquished any traces of capitalism, foreign
imperialism, and the enemies--real and imagined--of the radical
left. Even as communism collapsed elsewhere and over a million
people died of starvation in the 1990s, the government did not
waver from its course. The result is a paranoid militarized
society, an astounding cult of personality, and the formal absence
of any individualism.
Today, as ever, much of what is said about North Korea is based more on speculation than first hand reporting. Posing as an investor looking to open a chocolate factory, Tomas van Houtryve managed to slip into North Korea twice. He faced hours of interrogation, was threatened by appartchiks, and at one point was almost exposed as a journalist. The bold tactics gave him access to factories, hospitals and government offices, some of which had never before been seen by a Western photographer.
The music in this story is called, "The Unforgettable Top Of Mount Osung" and is recorded by The Korean People's Army Merited Chorus.