Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

April Meeting Recap: A Peek Inside North Korea

Photo of security consultant Jonathan Tetzlaff speaking about North Korea

On Tuesday, April 24, national security consultant Jonathan Tetzlaff gave us a fascinating look into the politics and culture of North Korea, with indications of what might lie ahead for 2018 in U.S./North Korean relations.

We learned that Korean beer is pretty good, that you can be arrested (and tortured) for juvenile pranks, that even newspaper images of “Dear Leader” must be treated with reverence, folded and placed just so. We also learned that the entire county is completely dark after sundown, appearing as dark as the ocean in a satellite photo, due to lack of power. And we learned that genetically identical people show significant differences in average height and weight from one side of the DMZ to the other: long-term food shortages in the North have stunted growth. Jonathan has worked for the U.S. government and for private corporations as a foreign affairs analyst and has made numerous trips to North Korea over the last several years, and his presentation gave us a new understanding of what’s really happening in this secretive state.

Jonathan Tetzlaff has worked for the U.S. government and for private corporations as a foreign affairs analyst and has made numerous trips to North Korea over the last several years.