King’s Talk: North Korea Exposed

For the last King’s Talk of the Autumn term, King’s was delighted to welcome the award-winning photo journalist, Jeremy Hunter, who spoke about North Korea Exposed: A New Era?

Students packed into the Claggett Auditorium in the Cathedral’s International Study Centre to hear Mr Hunter speak.

Mr Hunter has spent 35 years in 65 countries witnessing and photographing the world’s festivals and celebrations. He is an avid adventurer, venturing to North Korea (DPRK) specifically to photograph ARIRANG – a mass socio-realist spectacle celebrating the life of Eternal leader, Kim Il-Sung, the Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il and the daily lives of North Koreans today.

North Korea (DPRK) is the most repressive nation in the world, probably the most brutal and certainly the most secretive. Robert Gates, former CIA director, considered the country to be ‘the toughest intelligence target in the world’. Mr Hunter gave a fascinating insight into life in one of the world’s most closed societies and repressive regimes. He spent some time reflecting on the recent events which, might seem to herald a change in policy from North Korea, such as meetings with President Trump and with President Moon of South Korea. He felt that despite this, it would be at least another generation before North Korea might reunify with the south or indeed evolve into anything resembling a democracy, as we would understand the term, despite its name ‘the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’. Mr Hunter’s talk had a real impact not least in underlining the value of education, the ability to critically interrogate the world and presented narratives – and North Korea’s totalitarian and propaganda driven regime places this in sharp relief.