Captivated by Kim

When on February 9, 2018, the 23rd Winter Olympics open in Pyeongchang, South Korea, it can safely be assumed that athletes from North Korea will not be there. This isn’t due to lack of preparation — teams from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have participated in most of the Winter Games since 1964, when they won silver in Innsbruck for speed skating. But it boycotted the Summer Olympics in Seoul and will do so again, so ingrained is the ill-will between the two halves of the country. This is a shame, because since the resort of Masikryong opened in 2013, the poor cousins of the north have embraced alpine skiing with gusto. Not that my decision to visit it was met with equal enthusiasm by those around me. “You go to North Korea?” asked the jolly Beijing taxi driver in disbelief. “You are not afraid to be abducted?” I had read stories about North Korean scuba-divers taking girls… Continue Reading