The little evidence seeping out of the repressed nation suggests its people are growing weary of their masters – but still harbour a burning hatred for the US

Though North Korea consumes an extraordinary amount of international attention for such a small and impoverished country, the “Hermit Kingdom” remains remarkably closed. We still know very little about what its people think. We know what they say when they meet visitors; but those who get to meet foreigners are at the top of society, and they speak under constant scrutiny and threat of punishment. We know what defectors say; but they are people who have chosen to and managed to leave, and thus are by their nature atypical.

Our best indication is what North Koreans say when they are working illicitly in China, though even then their views are skewed by their experience of living in border areas and venturing abroad. A few are able to share their views from inside the country, using illegally owned Chinese phones that can pick up mobile signals along the border, but can be used for only a few minutes lest they be traced.

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