NK Fun Fact: Communicating with North Koreans

Outside of North Korea, I stay in touch with my counterparts in Pyongyang through email. They use one email address for the entire organization, which somehow miraculously routes incoming emails to the right person. I never know if something gets lost along the way, but I am keeping that question on my agenda for my next visit. Perhaps one way they keep track of whom the email is meant for is not just content or who it is addressed to, but by the email of the sender. A North Korean might be assigned to receive registered email addresses only. This could explain the following facts:

1. Unsolicited emails normally never get a response 2. It took a long time to persuade my counterparts to switch the email they were sending replies to. Even if I sent an email by my Gmail account, they would reply to my school email.

All these are conjectures from a small sample size.

Also, the language they use occasionally remind me that the culture gap exists, and that it is important to close it. A counterpart used to sign off his email by wishing me "world frightening success" in my research. I would just settle for someone reading it.