Tourists To Nowhere

Like most normal humans, there are places that I would love to visit. Spain, the beautiful Paris, the streets of Berlin or great museums such as the Hermitage in Russia. Who would not enjoy sunny Italy or wandering the streets of mysterious Prague? I have always longed to investigate the history of Shanghai or be crushed in some Tokyo subway. But, alas, there are those whose tastes in tourism leaves me wondering whether they seek to explore the unknown or do they seek to enjoy the hospitality of some North Korean prison whose culinary items are certainly not those my stomach could or wound endure? Matthew Todd Miller decided this spring to join a tour of North Korea. I assume his desire was to witness people in the process of hunger and fear, or perhaps, he prefers to be in the exciting city of Pyongyang with its glittering dim lights at night when everything closes for sleep.

It turns out that Mr. Miller is not interested in a brief tour of North Korea, but wants the complete tour–for lifetime. He arrived at the airport, tore up his Bible and shouted for political asylum. A few days later one Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the dark kingdom of North Korea, left a Bible on his table in the hotel, and joined an exciting tour of Pyongyang. Both men are now under arrest. I assume the charge is “madness” for Mr. Miller, and most probably, being a Christian is the crime for Mr. Fowle. The mystery of my life is what does one do or see on a trip to North Korea?

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