Category Archives: North Korea

Is North Korea really behind Sony hack?

Is North Korea really behind Sony hack? After a massive hack, Sony Pictures decided to cancel the film “The Interview,” which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Could the cyber-attack have been carried out by North Korea? “The Interview” never had a chance in the busy holiday movie season. Following the release of internal emails, personal health and financial information, and even the leaking of a draft script for the upcoming James Bond film “Spectre,” a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace” threatened September 11-style attacks on moviegoers if they went to see the Seth Rogen […]

I Had A Scary Encounter With North Korea’s Crumbling Healthcare System

I saw North Korea’s notorious healthcare system first-hand when I got sick on a recent trip to the rogue state. Although they took good care of me, I’m glad that I was a Westerner and that I was not sicker. Once well-respected, North Korea’s health infrastructure is “crumbling” and “in dire need of help,” according to Amnesty International. The country spent less on healthcare per capita than any other country in 2009  — under US$1 — according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, pervasive malnutrition has led to a tuberculosis epidemic, while infant mortality rates are far higher than neighboring South Korea, among other health […]

Here’s How To Visit North Korea, The Most Secretive Place In The World

Here’s How To Visit North Korea, The Most Secretive Place In The World Jacky Chen/Reuters So you want to go to North Korea? If the nuclear tests, human rights violations, arbitrary detentions of tourists, and bellicose rhetoric from the government threatening to transform places such as Seoul and even Austin, Texas into a “sea of fire” aren’t enough to deter you from visiting the “Hermit Kingdom,” then perhaps nothing will. OK, then. This is how to get into the most secretive country in the world. 1. Find a tour operator The only way for the vast majority of people to […]

I Saw Another Side Of North Korea While Traveling Undercover [PHOTOS]

In June 2013, I traveled to North Korea’s North Hamgyong Province undercover, not disclosing that I was a journalist in order to get a sense of life in areas far from Pyongyang. REUTERS/KCNA This was a dangerous proposition. Western journalists are often forbidden from entering the country and can receive harsh treatment if discovered. Raymond Cunningham For eight days, I lived undercover, hiding the truth from my traveling companions and near-ubiquitous military guards. Samir Angelo Things started out in exciting fashion. I crossed into the North Korean city of Namyang overland from China, across the Tumen Border Bridge. Built in […]

A rare glimpse into North Korea

A rare glimpse into North Korea Sixty years after the armistice that ended the Korean War, it appears as though North Korea is progressing. But this might just be a show put on for foreign tourists. A DW correspondent reports his impressions. “The North Hamgyong Provincial E-Library has 301 computers,” translates Suh Byung Kim, the wiry 34-year-old guide, as the head librarian speaks Korean. “It is open every day at 10 a.m. Every person in the provincial capital Chongjin can use them,” he says to a group of Westerners visiting the location. However, the two-floor facility is already half-full – […]

Switching sides: defections at the Olympics

Switching sides: defections at the Olympics Over 200 nations have come together in London for the Summer Olympics, competing in the name of goodwill. But the Games also have a hidden side that’s not often discussed. Defections – the voluntarily abandonment of allegiance to a country – have occurred at the Olympics for almost 70 years. The first Olympic defection was at the 1948 London Games, when International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) president Marie Provaznikova refused to return home to what was then Czechoslovakia, citing “lack of freedom” after the country’s inclusion in the Soviet Bloc. DW RECOMMENDS East Germany’s ‘sport traitors’ Over […]

For North Koreans, Olympics has larger meaning

For North Koreans, Olympics has larger meaning One of the most surprising stories of the Olympics’ first week was the four gold medals won by North Korea. The athletes’ achievements have inspired a nation – depending on who you ask. One thing is certain: for North Korean athletes, winning has a special meaning. “As an athlete I believe by winning the gold medal I was able to glorify my nation and give support to the people of my nation, so I am really happy,” judoka An Kum Ae told reporters after winning gold in the 52-kilogram category on July 29. […]