North Korea is a mysterious place — even to South Koreans. Curiosity about life in the north has sparked a slew of new South Korean TV shows.
- There is the Amazing Race-type program, in which North Korean women are paired up with South Korean men to take on various challenges.
- There are the talk shows, featuring panels of North Korean defectors talking about their dangerous escapes and difficult lives.
- And then there are the dating shows, in which North Korean women are matched up with eligible South Korean bachelors.
Sokeel Park, research director for Liberty in North Korea, an international nonprofit that helps North Korean refugees resettle, says the shows are, “for the first time, exposing South Korean audiences at a mass scale” to North Koreans who aren’t their infamous political leaders. Park says the programs are helping South Koreans get a better sense of the North Korean experience.
“They’re talking about the growth of markets and new technologies in North Korea,” Park says. “So gradually, the South Korean audiences are getting exposed to new kinds of stories or new characters from North Korea that previously there was just widespread ignorance of.” Read more