Being an American Journalist in North Korea Involves Cognac Karaoke, Two-Way Mirrors

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"Everyone was closely watched, with tactics reminiscent of a bad cold war spy movie," the New York Times' Sharon LaFraniere writes, of a rare six-day trip she took to North Korea last week. "Opposite a journalist’s spacious room at the mostly empty hotel, men with briefcases left keys dangling in doors and appeared to rotate shifts. Other guests warned that dining room tables were bugged and that a dark, out-of-place wall panel was in fact a two-way mirror." And yet, as we suspected, being a journalist in North Korea has its fun moments, too: "The visit ended with a cognac-fueled celebration in the hotel’s karaoke bar in which the North Koreans belted out You Are My Destiny and Korean love songs." [NYT]