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North Korean art captures the world's imagination

Paintings offer unique insight into the Hermit Kingdom

Detail of a painting titled "Follow the Orders of the Great Party and Win the Final Victory!” Hand-painted in acrylic on heavyweight paper by North Korean artists, it is based on a propoganda poster. (Courtesy of

BEIJING/BANGKOK -- While the world continues to struggle with restrictions related to COVID-19, North Korea has turned disengagement into an art form. Always among the world's most isolated places, the Hermit Kingdom has been sealed off since the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease emerged in neighboring China.

"North Korea was the first place to close its borders, and it will probably be the last to reopen" said Nicholas Bonner, a U.K. expatriate whose Beijing-based Koryo Tours is the global leader in guiding Western visitors to the world's most difficult tourist destination.

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