“Enter Pyongyang”, by JT Singh


 

When it comes to North Korea, our minds never cease associate this isolationist, hermit-state with mostly negative terms. Dictatorship, totalitarian rule, no free Internet, famine, underfed people, state-controlled daily life, and all these things, what have you, will make you feel as though the only thing North Koreans could survive, day by day, were mere inhaling and exhaling. We often think of a Stygian vision, a panopticon-like perspective about this mysterious country we actually haven’t known the bulk out of it.

All these things do still exist, sadly, even in 21st century. Life seems gloomy, and only slightly better in the capital, Pyongyang (whose best hospitals even rely on electric generators to avoid blackouts and suffer from chronic lack of medical devices).

But JT Singh, a professional brand marketer, offers a reversed glimpse of what life seems to be in the capital. Okay, we should forgive ourselves for overlooking the other 90% of North Korea’s population who lives beyond the metropolis (and they certainly fare much worse than their Pyongyang counterparts with famine and all kinds of undernourishment), but thanks to his hard work, his immense creativity, and his deep passion in recording the heartbeats of this city, Pyongyang is actually, despite all its current hardships, more colorful than we now perceive.

If Kim Jong Un were wise enough (and could think rationally like Deng Xiaoping), he should have asked Singh, well-known for his city-branding expertise in numerous major cities across the globe, to promote North Korea, endowed with rich natural resources (but still abysmal human rights record, one we should slightly compromise), as an investment destination. Get real about it.

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