While I write my next story on the carefully guarded, if not manufactured, ‘secrecy’ of the DPRK in order to entice foreigners (such as the mythical fifth floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel), here are a few useful websites for anyone who may be interested.

The DPRK webpage: the website of the Korea Friendship Association, a group of politically sympathetic people.

The Korean Central News Agency:  for a truly DPRK view of the world.

North Korea Books: where you can get all you want on the DPRK (I bought about 15 books while there, mostly the writings of Kim Il-Sung). This site is currently under maintenance.

While on the subject of books, you can acquire Kim Il-Sung’s Memoirs as well, called With the Century. I am particularly interested in his sympathetic views on Christianity in this series.

A site dedicated to the Pyongyang Metro: I have a t-shirt on the metro, with the slogan ‘Take Me to Paradise’ (Rakwon means paradise and is one of the stations). I got hold of this gem at Koryo’s office in Beijing. It generated immense interest in the DPRK, since it is not available there as yet.

For anyone interested in the uniqueness of the DPRK, there is DPRK Retro, with some great archival stuff.

Tour operators. With more and more people going to the DPRK (now about 10,000 each year), new tour groups have sprung up. Young Pioneers offers budget tours, and they actually sell Stalin t-shirts. They offer some intriguing volunteer tours, working with farmers and so on. Another bunch, based in Beijing, is Koryo Tours. They are the ones with the most experience and probably have the best connections and ability to make things happen.

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