We’ve lumped Guy’s North Korean guides into one category because it’s hard to tell them apart, too. Here’s what we know about the North Koreans we meet.
And that’s all we know about them.
Guy gets to know them even less than he gets to know the animators, because he and his North Korean guides have so little in common. These differences lead to tension:
The North Koreans are forced to walk around with Guy and his pals a lot, but they don’t like to walk. Maybe they prefer driving, because the only time they get to ride in vehicles is when they’re carting foreigners around. Guy even points this out, saying that “walking is the miserable fate of the unprivileged” (4.50)—yet he still makes his North Korean guides walk around. What’s up with this guy? (Er, sorry: What’s up with this Guy?) What’s with the jerky attitude?
When you get right down to it, communication rarely happens in Pyongyang. When trying to communicate with Mister Sin about cultural differences between Pyongyang and the rest of the freaking world, Sin responds, “It’s always interesting to get another perspective on things!” (11.33). Interesting? Yes. Productive? We’re not so sure. Neither party seems to be listening to the other here.