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Introducing North Korea

No country in the world provokes a similar reaction to North Korea. Now on its third hereditary ruler, this nominally communist state and by-product of the Cold War has defied all expectation and survived a quarter of a century since perestroika dismantled the rest of the once-vast Soviet empire.

The death of Kim Jong-il in late 2011 has seen the highly repressive police state back in the headlines as nervous governments around the world watch his son Kim Jong-un take over the reins of a nuclear-armed state with an enormous army. Most people don’t even know that it’s possible to travel here, and indeed the compromises required to do so are significant. You’ll be accompanied by two government minders at all times and only hear a one-sided account of history. Those who can’t accept this might be better off staying away – but those who can will have a fascinating trip into another, unsettling world.