Sunday, May 7, 2017

The New York Times and North Korea

At the post, Has Kim Jong-un Launched a North Korean Economic Miracle?, there have been a number of comments like this one questioning the reporting from The New York Times:
The New York Times wrote glowing articles about the worker's paradise in the Soviet Union in the twenties and thirties. The Times could be pulling the same stunt with regards to North Korea.
But the problem with this take is that the NYT coverage is reporting, this time, on how the North Korean standard of living is improving not because NK is a "worker's paradise" but precisely because it is moving in the direction of free markets.

Further, a number of other reports suggest that there is some improvement for some in lifestyles in North Korea. Dennis Rodman has spoken of the changes over time that he has seen during his visits to NK (SEE: Dennis Rodman on Kim Jong Un).

Most fascinating are the reports
of Jeremy Koh, Beijing correspondent for Channel News Asia. He has made several trips into NK and readily admits that he is always accompanied by a minder, who does not allow him to travel freely, but still his reporting does appear to show that some who are living in NK's capital city, Pyongyang, appear to be living at least a lower middle-class lifestyle. I don't imagine all of North Korea is like this but it does suggest an improvement in living standards that Rodman spoke of in his interview and that NYT indicates.



  1. My guess is thatbif you aren't in the regime's good books, forget about being part of kim's markets

  2. I'm surprised to see you buy into this propaganda. It's typical Potemkin showcase for foreigners -- note the ridiculous store shelf, with custom-built cutout, and excessive arrangement for limited selection. Note all the army guys in the background of all those shots of peaceful middle class life. It's all a carefully-staged show.