I have been reading all three of the Inspector O novels written by James Church and taking place in North Korea.
Here is a bit by James Church post on Confessions of an Indioscyncratic Mind:
What would be the one thing Americans and the West should understand about North Korean human behavior that hasn't necessarily been transmitted in the press?
Not to mince words, Western media treatment of North Korea has generally been pathetic. “Lazy” and “intellectually bankrupt” also come to mind. Too many reporters and editors love to fall back on “it was a dark and stormy night” journalism when it comes to writing about the country. If one cannot figure out what to say, spill some ink talking about how the North is a mysterious place, a black hole of absurd behavior, a Stalinist Disneyland.
North Korea is a bureaucracy, it is Asian, and it is a totalitarian state inhabited by human beings. None of those attributes are beyond our understanding or experience. In other words, North Korea is not an unknowable enigma, yet we insist on seeing it as the equivalent of the planet Pluto—dark, cold, and distant. Why are we stuck in this rut? It’s a very American problem. Perhaps we don’t understand other peoples as well as we might because, as a nation, we sometimes fool ourselves about ourselves. READ MORE....