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North Korea

The Last Temptation Of Pyongyang

A visit to North Korea reveals fears about the Internet's pernicious influence on youth, but also a big push in computer science training. The market economy calls, but 'social control' is at risk.

Pyongyang Taedong River at sunset
Pyongyang Taedong River at sunset
Philippe Pons

PYONGYANG — This restaurant with a local clientele, where diners place their orders on a touchscreen, is never empty despite prices that scant North Koreans can afford. In the street, little shops sell vegetables, fruit, drinks, frozen products and imported cosmetics. Their signs are lit until around 10 p.m. — late for Pyongyang. Taking advantage of the urban light, sparse as it is, young couples walk hand in hand. The An Sang Taek quarter, with its skyscrapers for the elite, doesn't have the flashy look of a city center, but it does reveal two noticeable features of the North Korean capital: the development of electronic communication and the taste for consumption.

North Koreans are far from able to navigate freely on the Internet. But that doesn't mean that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has any less presence online — just that it avoids the "corrosive" influence from the outside and integrates information technology into its system of social control.

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Ideas

Yes, Her Too: A Feminist Reading Of The Depp Vs. Heard Case

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation suit has become a Hollywood media (sh*t) storm, but there are troubling real consequences in the way domestic violence is being portrayed, when the victim is less-than-perfect.

Fans welcome Johnny Depp with "Justice For Johnny" signs at the defamation trial against Amber Heard.

Catalina Ruiz-Navarro*

First the background: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met in 2012. They started a relationship when Depp was still with Vanessa Paradis, and eventually married in 2015. Fifteen months later, Heard filed for divorce, accusing Depp of domestic violence and asking for a restraining order.

In the lawsuit, Heard said, ”I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.” They then made a million-dollar settlement, and soon after, Heard asked for the restraining order to be dropped.

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