“North Koreans live in Bubble” Says Foreign Caricaturist who Visited North Korea

[imText1]A French Canadian caricaturist, Guy Delisle, published a book of caricatures based on his visit to Pyongyang called, “Pyongyang, a Journey in North Korea.”

In 2001, many foreign businesses visited North Korea in order to subcontract animation movie work to cheap workers in North Korea. Guy Delisle, who works in a French animation company, stayed in North Korea for two months during production of the movie in 2001.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia on November 22, Guy Delisle said, “During the entire period I was visiting North Korea, everyone was extremely worried about a war breaking out.”

“The North Korean government continuously fed people propaganda regarding the possible outbreak of war. Newspapers, television, movies, and all kinds of media talked about war. After a month or two, I too began to truly think we were on the brink of war,” he said.

Before Guy Delisle went to North Korea, his company gave him a two-page list of things he was not to do while in North Korea. The list included the prohibition of cellular phones, pornographic magazines, radio and other things.

Strict Information Control, People Live in a Bubble

Despite the regulations, Guy Delisle still took a small radio with him. He said, “Some time ago, I read in an a book that a North Korean escaped from North Korea after being caught listening to South Korean radio. I decided to take a radio to North Korea and attempt to listen to foreign stations.”

Guy Delisle added, “However, there was only one channel that I could listen to. All the information was for the regime.” He described Pyongyang as a ghastly city.

“In North Korea, there was no way to find out about the outside world. Those who said they listened to foreign broadcastings must have heard shortwave broadcasting,” he said. “I have visited many countries, but I have never seen anything like North Korea. In Burma, where I am presently staying, I have access to international stations, such as the BBC, CNN, and various other French broadcastings.’

Guy Delisle’s book includes a scene where he asks a North Korean translator about disabled people in North Korea.

One day he was walking on the streets of Pyongyang, he noticed that everyone in the streets was so clean and wearing nice clothes. Among all those people, there was not a single disabled person. He was surprised upon this sudden realization, and asked his translator about disabled people in North Korea, to which his translator responded that there are no disabled in North Korea.

Disabled people are not allowed to live in the so called, “City of Revolution,” and driven by the Pyongyang International Youth Students Festival in 1989, all the disabled residing in Pyongyang were forcefully moved to other cities.