There’s no internet access and what news or history that seeps through the cracks is doctored and distorted by the country’s one propaganda channel. Everyone is watched and everyone is afraid. The slightest deviation from the national script can lead to execution or years in a labour camp. Christopher Hitchens, on his visit to North Korea, remarked: ‘[T]he state was founded actually I think the year that 1984 was published and it’s as if they sort of took the book and thought I wonder if we could make this work?’ On his schooling, Hyok Kang recalls: ‘In Lesson 8 we are told, with a straight face, that ‘one plus one equals one.”
Max Dunbar on Hyok Kang’s This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood.