A friend of Daughter has returned from North Korea, which she visited as a tourist. (She has a Russian passport, which apparently makes it easier.)
Tourists are, obviously, carefully monitored. They are taken to see “typical” villages. Apparently, there are stalls set out along the roads offering fresh fruit and vegetables. There are dotted lines along those roads; tourists are not encouraged to cross these to examine those stalls too closely.
This is because those “fruit and vegetables” displays are, self-evidently, plastic, probably mass-produced across the border in China for the Western market. Outside these Potemkin villages, there are precious few fruit and vegetables, plastic or otherwise.
There was also a chocolate fountain, displaying the delights on offer to sweet-toothed inhabitants fortunate enough to live in this hermit kingdom. North Korea is run on the tenet of “Juche” or self-reliance, imposed by its ludicrous, raving mad dynasty of leaders mainly because only other pariah states will trade with it.
The “chocolate” was self-evidently mud.
Strange place to go on holiday. Some years ago there was a well-known song called “Holiday in Cambodia”, mocking the way well-heeled Westerners would go for cheap holidays in places full of human misery. Today, put “holiday in Cambodia” into Google and you get, well, holidays in Cambodia, as it now appears to be called again.
One day, we will go on holiday in North Korea, and the Kim Jongs will be only an unhappy memory, like the Khmer Rouge. History works that way.