The Null Device

North Korea, the ultimate package tour

A travel correspondent from the Guardian visits North Korea:
I've been allowed in as "a travel consultant" and in this capacity I'm happy to report that visiting North Korea is surely one of the greatest holidays on earth. You will see only what everyone else who goes to North Korea sees: which is what the North Korean government wants you to see. In this, it reminds me of Hello! magazine. I've always marvelled at how celebrities, given editorial control, choose to portray themselves. And so it is with North Korea. You may not get to see the "real" North Korea, but this "unreal" North Korea is a fascinating thing in and of itself. Because this is tourism at its most perfected. It's like a cruise ship. Every minute of every day has been pre-formulated and it's beautifully worked out: from the €5 charge if you want to try the national speciality, dog soup, to the man with a video camera who follows our every move, and at the end of the tour produces a DVD of our visit set to martial victory music, and sells it back to us for €40 a pop.

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