back to top

41 Things That Actually Happen In That YouTuber's North Korea Videos

Louis Cole's dispatches from North Korea have been highly controversial.

Posted on

A report in Vanity Fair said he chose "to go for a light tone, oohing and ahhing over abundant food in a country ravaged by hunger.”

He has been accused of ignoring the issues of torture, execution, deliberate starvation, and arbitrary imprisonment as highlighted by a UN commission on human rights report. He has defended the videos, saying he's not an “investigative journalist”.

Below are some things that happen in Cole's videos from the capital Pyongyang.


Then they get told off by airport security.


Back in the room, Cole reflects on the fact that people are friendlier than he expected, and that Cuba seemed more "frozen in time" than North Korea. He then says "I can only show you what we're getting shown... There may be a whole different side that we're not getting to explore here."


As Andy Cush noted in reviewing this video, dreadlocks are not on North Korea's list of 28 state-sanctioned haircuts.


He says the water park "blew" his mind, and that contrary to the media coverage that says North Korean is "frozen in time", "there might be elements of that... but there's a very active, happy civilisation getting on with their day-to-day life."

Cole describes how "certain data" from the internet has been selected and put on an intranet, "so that people can access that data and learn stuff."

"They are very confused," he laughs.

29. He leaves the museum, saying some of what he saw was "the complete opposite to what I know to be history and what I learned when I was in South Korea." He says he'll do some research when he's got internet access.

"It's amazing that the current family who are leading this country with such prestige... started from such humble beginnings," he says.

A member of the tour party is asked what his childhood dreams were. "To travel the world," he replies.

38. Next up is a trip to a supermarket, where Cole has to change his Chinese and American currency to the North Korean one – which elsewhere he's been told he's "not allowed to use."

After this, Cole says he's been told street cleaners get paid more than teachers, and that housing, food, healthcare and education is all provided, and in the holidays they provide the population with clothing and shoes.

Back in his hotel room he says the county is "advanced in [North Korea's] own style... lots to think about."

Cole went on to make two more videos that were not based in Pyongyang.


Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!