Timothy Cho

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Has Kim Yo-jong, Kim’s sister (pictured), been eclipsed by his daughter as his chosen successor? Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

When I was a kid, I had a friend who was a smuggler. “You tell anyone about this – our lives are over,” he threatened, and suddenly grinned, delightedly revealing his prize: the latest 007 movie, Die Another Day.

Two decades ago, viewing foreign material in North Korea was highly dangerous – and it is the same today. The news that a two-year-old toddler has been sentenced to life imprisonment – because his parents were caught with a Bible – does not surprise anyone who observes the state’s cruelty to those who prefer not to worship the Kim family.

And yet the “hermit kingdom” idea really is something of a myth – finding illicit smuggled material in North Korea is surprisingly easy.…  Seguir leyendo »