Some of those critics say the school is training the future elite of a dictatorial regime that abuses human rights and threatens its neighbors with nuclear weapons. Right-wing activists in South Korea accuse the school of educating future hackers.
The school “cannot operate in North Korea without making compromises to the regime — either in money or information — and I am uncomfortable with the extent of such a compromise,” said Suki Kim, who taught English at the university in 2011 as a journalist working undercover. She later described her experience in the book “Without You, There Is No Us.”
Many of those compromises are apparent on campus.
Students march to the cafeteria singing songs swearing loyalty to Mr. Kim. Course materials have to be approved by the North Korean authorities, who have their own staff members installed on campus. Faculty members must have “guides” with them when they venture off campus.