Meet Travis Jeppesen, the first American to study in North Korea.
He's been to the hermit kingdom five times, and I hope they'll let him back in after listening to this podcast.
Jeppesen has a fascinating new book out called See You Again in Pyongyang, which is part travelogue, part history lesson, and all crazy interesting.
Some things I learned from reading his book:
- The North Korean zoo has separate houses for cats and dogs.
- Each morning, the residents of Pyongyang wake up to the same creepy morning anthem piped through the city corridors.
- Children are taught that the correct way to refer to an American citizen is "American bastard."
- North Korea has its own time zone.
- It is unknowable how many still believe the state propaganda. Probably not many. Even outside of Pyongyang, people have learned that you have to play the capitalism game in order to survive.
If you're as curious and confused as I am about what the hell is going on in North Korea, and why Kim Jong Un is suddenly besties with Trump, you'll want to hear Jeppesen's interview.