Last week, Andray did a live Q&A for The Guardian and just a few hours later Geoffrey appeared on Channel News Asia's "First Look Asia" for a live TV interview. With Geoffrey was our volunteer workshop leader, bon vivant and chief of the Shanghaiist, Kenneth Tan. On CNA, they spoke mostly about THE Choson Exchange and the workshops that THE Choson Exchange Organises*.
Kenneth calls his fascination with North Korea "inexplicable", noting that he wanted to go but not with a tour. Geoffrey expounds by stating that while some workshop leaders we take are interested in business opportunities, the vast majority are just curious about seeing the DPRK, but off the "beaten tourist trail". And that if you happen to be in the coffee business, you can even become something of a minor celebrity in Pyongyang. Much of the interview focused on what it is like to be a foreign visitor to Pyongyang.
in the Guardian Q&A, Andray ranged over a variety of topics posed by readers, including more questions focused on what CE audiences are like. One question on conformity and control was, "how do you couch personal ambitions in the context of submission to the state and dear general?" It elicited this response:
Koreans exist in a social and economic system that demands a lot and emphasises unity and loyalty to an incredible degree. That said, they’re individuals with the same aspirations as people anywhere: they want to have a good career, they want their kids to have opportunities, they want to get into the best university they can, they want - increasingly - to run their own business and succeed. Pretty normal, human stuff, really.
Perhaps most crucially he advocated for Jose Mourinho to leave the Premier League and coach in North Korea for a year. (Or forever).
As for Mourinho, North Koreans love football and would recognise his genius and welcome him as a coach. For my part, I would love to see him leave England. (Arsenal fan)
*If this sentence looks weird, forgive us - we prefer CE to go without an article. Just "Choson Exchange" is fine. And since we're here, no 'u'. Two 'o's, if possible.