Photograph from North Korean Central News Agency via YONHAP/EPA
Published December 19, 2011
With the news that dictator Kim Jong-II is dead at 69, "we are in oblivion on what's next" for North Korea, in the words of one National Geographic explorer. But change generally comes slowly in the world's most isolated country, where all public life can seem as staged as the synchronized stadium performances celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong-Il's father (picture).
To pull back the curtain on North Korea as it was in Kim Jong-Il's time, National Geographic is offering free streaming video of Inside North Korea, in which an undercover Lisa Ling exposes "unimaginable horrors" and "absolute conformity." And in China and South Korea, National Geographic magazine offers rare access to Kim Jong-Il's diaspora: escapees struggling to cope on the other side of the DMZ. Plus, facts, maps, and more.
The Land of Kim Jong-Il
Get North Korea facts and information and see the North Korean flag in this country profile from National Geographic.
On the Blog
The death of North Korea's long-term dictator raises many issues and questions of similarly long-term importance. In the first moments of receipt of the news, one National Geographic Explorer gives his reflections via Twitter.
Among the deprivations that marked the nuclear-armed era of Kim Jong-il, energy was arguably the most fundamental shortage.