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'Enter Pyongyang' and the ethics of tourism in North Korea

'Enter Pyongyang' and the ethics of tourism in North Korea
Published 12 Aug 2014 


A rare look inside Pyongyang, thanks to a collaboration between 'branding specialist' JT Singh, filmaker Rob Whitworth, and North Korean tour company Koryo Tours.  Apart from being a striking and somewhat surprising portrayal of life in the North Korean capital, it reopens the conversation on the ethics of being a tourist in North Korea and the 'engage or isolate' debate.

Singh has provided some insights on the filming process:

We were closely assisted by two guides from the National Tourism Administration, who helped us gain special access to locations and made sure that we followed all the rules. As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.

The average visitor to Pyongyang is likely to be surprised by the scenes they encounter and are especially surprised about how clean and orderly the city actually is. Indeed, people living in Pyongyang and other major cities enjoy a higher quality of life than those in other parts of the county.

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