North Korea: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

In September 2012, I led a group of 16 top CEOs from 9 countries to North Korea.  We were seeking to get behind the headlines and garner a better understanding of a country often referred to as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’.

Before visiting North Korea, I believed that it was impossible for foreign tourists to enter the country and that it would be very dangerous to travel there.  Friends and family members were concerned that I might be detained, imprisoned in a labor camp, brainwashed, or worse. Media accounts and documentaries portrayed North Koreans as goose-stepping caricatures, starving peasants, or enslaved masses, validating those stereotypes.

Unfortunately, the mythology surrounding North Korea drives international policy.  A nuanced understanding of the complexities involved would be beneficial for everyone.

For audio descriptions of behind the scenes, click here.
For an article detailing my experiences in North Korea, click here.

For more images on Flickr, click here.