A British YouTuber showcased a “fun” side of North Korea rarely seen anywhere else via a series of vlogs (video blogs) he uploaded on his YouTube channel while visiting the Asian country.
While many Westerners and other travelers commonly cover the nature of the oppressive regime of Kim Jong Un in documentaries and other productions, Louis Cole of the FunforLouis YouTube channel focused instead on the positive aspects of his North Korean experience.
The videos, which looked intentionally made to be upbeat in nature, showed him and other companions enjoying every stop they were brought to. Cole wrote in the description of one of the videos that he is “trying to focus on positive things in the country and combat the purely negative image we see in the Media.”
Cole and his friends were shown mingling with the locals, enjoying the coffee and strolling along the wide open square. He was also seen admiring the structures built to exalt the nation’s brutal dictators.
With 1.8 million YouTube subscribers, it can be assumed that Cole may have a considerable amount of influence. Intended or not, Cole presented a picturesque version of North Korea which may even look inviting to many viewers.
Some of the commenters on his channel, however, were unconvinced Cole’s positive vibe was authentic.
“We need a whole vlog about the actual truth of what’s actually happening over there lol,” said one comment.
“Once you can freely speak your mind. Let us know more about the truth behind all of these staged moments,” commented another.
“Everything looks so scripted… because it is,” wrote one Youtube user. “Like the skate park looks like a great place to hang out but only you guys are there.”
Tourism in North Korea, which is organized by state-owned tourism bureaus, is known to be highly controlled by the government and features fully supervised guided tours that are very structured.
In April, an Indian travel blogger who went on a controlled tour said that the North Korea they show to visitors is totally fake.
“It’s all make-believe,” blogger Anjaly Thomas told News.com.au. “They show you the best of Pyongyang, you eat at the best restaurants, but you don’t see many locals eating there. They get their food through a public distribution system, they can’t buy it themselves.“