字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 This video was made possible by CuriosityStream. When you sign up for an annual subscription at curiositystream.com/HAI, you'll also get access to Nebula--the streaming service HAI is a part of. North Korea is a lot like North Dakota: they're both small, they're both isolated, they both have a penchant for being run by dead people--and they both have some Americans living there, although far from enough to justify two seats in the Senate. If you're like me, you might find it strange that despite North Korea having no American embassy, and technically still being at war with the US, the Hermit Kingdom is home to a handful of resourceful, scrappy, independent, technically sort-of-treasonous Americans. But, then again, you're probably not like me: I run a semi-successful YouTube channel about silly little facts, and you probably have a real job. How many Americans live there, you ask? That's a great question, to which I'll give the same answer I gave when asked how many tic tacs I could fit in my mouth at once: I'm not totally sure, but probably around 200. Americans in North Korea come in three main flavors: former US citizens who have renounced their citizenship and defected, still-citizen humanitarians and educators, and Rocky Road. The first group, American defectors and their children, is also the smallest; in fact, we only know for certain about two living ones: these guys, the Dresnok brothers, pictured here tying for last in a Kim Jong-Un lookalike competition. Why are they there? Well, you see, in a conflict you likely learned but then forgot about in school, and then learned about again, and forgot about again in one of the five videos I've made on North Korea, back in the 1950s the US and the USSR were in something called the Cool Conflict and they took a look at East Asia and went: hey… uh… nice Korea you've got there. Sure would be a shame if we… did a war to it. And so, they did do a war to it, and split the place into North Korea and Gangnam Style Korea. Once the war ended--which technically was never, but actually was in 1953--most of the Americans who had been doing the war went home, but a few of them thought to themselves: “Hey, you know what I've never tried before? Living in the world's most brutal fascist dictatorship! Why not give that a go?” And so, they did, and from 1953 to the 1980s, around 30 American prisoners of war and active military personnel decided not to leave or slipped across the DMZ and into North Korea. Some of them claim they did it to avoid court martial, or to avoid doing more war in Vietnam, but everyone knows the real reason is because they had a crush on Kim Jong-Il. Just look at those dimples. Anyways, while most defectors have died, returned to the US, or relocated to China, an undisclosed but likely very small number of descendents remain in North Korea and they don't particularly seem like they're coming back. And who can blame them? Getting to play roles in propaganda films as evil Americans and wearing uniforms that look taken from a high school production of Sound of Music is a level of fame that would be hard to give up. I mean, just look at how happy they are. That's the face of a man who feels great about his life decisions. The larger, less permanent, and far less cosplay-y portion of North Korea's American population is made up of humanitarians and university professors. Back in the 1990s, Christian groups took a break from protesting Kevin Smith movies and yelling at Monica Lewinsky, and noticed that North Korea was suffering from brutal food shortages and extensive flooding, so they started sending people and supplies into the proudly atheist state, and they haven't stopped since. Now, this might seem like an odd arrangement considering North Korea's stance on religion, but Christians are really good at making themselves feel at home in places they aren't initially welcome--just ask the Aztecs, or the Incas, or the native Americans, or the Spanish, or the Lebanese, or well, almost every country and ethnic group in the world, actually. It was also a devout Christian who founded The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which sounds like a poorly-disguised front for money laundering, but is actually a private university that employs up to 70 Americans a semester. At The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, or TPUST--they don't call it that, but I think they should--western professors, mostly from the States, teach 500 of the nation's young elite in business and entrepreneurial classes, all in spoken English. While it's unclear how many Americans currently work there given the US' ban on travel to the country, it is still very much open and active. Both the humanitarians and TPUST professors usually spend between three to six months in North Korea, before heading back home to America and its many uniquely American comforts: French fries, English muffins, Belgian waffles, Chinese takeout, etc. But while they're still in the land of the uncreative haircut, Americans have to find things to do, and their options largely depend on where they're located. One common spot for Americans is the Rason Economic Zone, which is the chunk of the country carved out for what industry and private investment exist in a country whose main export is nuclear threats. To North Korean eyes, the Rason Economic Zone would seem to be an international hub, but it's really more of an assortment of worn out Russian and Chinese businessmen hanging out at a Chinese-funded casino. For the TPUST professors, who are based in Pyongyang, the whole capital city is at their fingertips well, there are interpreters and guides who watch over foreigners, but it's more fun if you think of them as super-loyal, government-mandated travel buddies. What was once viewed as the world's most boring city is now home to a host of restaurants, shopping centers, skating rinks, social clubs, heck, even sketchy Wi-Fi for foreigners to enjoy… making Pyongyang, well, still probably one of the most boring cities in the world. If you're an American getting bored in Pyongyang, I've got a great idea for how you can stay entertained. You see, a while back, I and a bunch of educational-ish creators friends decided to make our own streaming site where we don't have to worry about demonitization or the YouTube algorithm all we have to focus on is making great content. It's called Nebula, and on it, you get early access to ad-free versions of all my YouTube videos, and exclusive access to Nebula Originals, like the forty-minute HAI special, feature length Wendover documentaries, my Nebula-exclusive podcast Showmakers, and a ton of other projects from other creators. The best way to get Nebula is through a bundle deal with CuriosityStream, a documentary streaming service with incredible exclusive content from people like Jane Goodall, David Attenborough, and Chris Hadfield. With their current sale price, you can get both Nebula and CuriosityStream for only $14.79 a year, when you go to curiositystream.com/HAI, and you'll be supporting this channel while you're at it.