One of the most startling first observations for foreign visitors to North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, is the complete absence of commercial advertising, which only amplifies the hermit kingdom’s isolation from the contemporary, outside world.
The lack of cars on the wide, empty boulevards, the aging Eastern European trams, and the crowds of cyclists on old bike models add to the sense of stepping into the past. While local smartphones are gaining popularity, few pedestrians are glued to their screens as they walk.
Yet the repressive state’s efforts to shield its population from foreign influences has not quelled North Koreans’ curiosity about what lies beyond their borders, or their longing…
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