08 May 2018

Jeremy Hunter: North Korea

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Jeremy Hunter, a photo-journalist, writer and broadcaster, visited the school on 4 May to speak on North Korea, giving us a new insight into the country and how it operates.

Although North Korea has often been in the news lately, I had not previously known much about how the country controls the lives of the people within it. Therefore, the details of the inner-workings of a country that is undoubtedly like no other, including how the people are brainwashed into thinking particular things, was fascinating. I especially thought that the way in which the various dictators have taken up a god-like position, forcing the citizens to almost worship them, was an astounding aspect of the way the nation is run. The life of a North Korean seems completely alien to someone who has grown up in Britain. The restrictions and strict guidelines of how they have to live, including what they say, how they act and what they eat, was something I found shocking.

The use of pictures and videos that Mr Hunter showed us were an effective means of uncovering the inside of North Korea. However, this was only a restricted insight, as Mr Hunter explained the tight control that is kept on what is communicated to foreigners, another aspect which I found striking.

Because of the unusual state of the country, often referred to as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’, it is difficult to completely understand it, but I definitely know more than I did before the talk. Now that North Korea has such an important place on the world’s political stage, and is about to embark on an extremely significant summit with America, it seems more crucial than ever to understand this complex and veiled country.

Rosalie Owen, Lower Sixth

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