Articles devoted to examining all aspects of North Korean society, particularly the daily lives of the country’s ordinary citizens.

Wednesday 8th March, 2017

North Korea is one of the few countries in the world where International Women’s Day is a national holiday – well, sort of....

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Saturday 1st December, 2012

Our informants returned to China from Pyongyang with interesting news: subversive jokes are all the rage in North Korea, and the leader Kim Jong-un has become the butt of today’s most popular Pyongy...

Saturday 24th November, 2012

The desirable qualities that are most sought after in a potential marriage partner may offer clues to a society’s most cherished values. In certain cases, it can even reflect on the current characte...

Wednesday 26th September, 2012

By Seo Young-seok The train holds a special place in the heart of many North Koreans, not least because train stations are one of few visible remnants of an older Korea that has been rebuilt since the...

Friday 7th September, 2012

Road and traffic signs are a compact and visual means of conveying simple messages, and are universally understood. North Korea’s road and traffic signs can also generally be understood by outsi...

Wednesday 5th September, 2012

‘Gurupa’ is the North Korean pronunciation of the English word ‘group’ and refers to a shady and officially sanctioned policing organisation which monitors anti-socialist behaviour. Th...

Tuesday 21st August, 2012

In many countries, drunk-driving often leads to fatal consequences, and driving while intoxicated is considered a crime. North Korea too has its share of alcohol-related laws and fatalities, but both ...

Wednesday 15th August, 2012

New Focus Exclusive: The city we lived in, Pyongyang, in images (3) In this report, we continue to revisit the city we lived in – its buildings and its inhabitants. We aim to provide a picture o...

Thursday 9th August, 2012

A North Korean sense of humour Since Kim Jong-un’s recent appointment as Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, the DPRK has been encouraging all its citizens to refer to Kim by the title ...