North Korea (or DPRK) remains misunderstood by the outside world, partly due to the lack of access by foreign journalists and researchers but also because public opinion about the country has been shaped by overused stereotyping narratives and images. But what I experienced during those two years in DPRK, had nothing to do with the standard stereotypes.
The wide streets of Ealing might be typical of pleasant south-west London suburban living, but the residents of Gunnersbury Avenue have the most unlikely of neighbours. At number 73 sits a seven bedroom detached house which, as the remarkable embassy of Kim Jong-Un's totalitarian North Korea, houses the London mission of the most secretive nation on earth.
Praising these guided tours serves a political purpose for a government that has cultivated a theocratic cult of oppression and starved its people to the point of stunting their growth. Praise contributes to the fiction the regime wants to project: that they are running a prosperous, grand society that is open to scrutiny.