"Why North Korea has children’s schools in Japan. This isn’t a story about a physical border. North Koreans living in Japan experience a much less visible kind of border, one made of culture, tradition, history, and ideology. The result is a North Korean bubble in Japan whose members face fierce discrimination from Japanese society, leading the community to turn to Pyongyang for support. Now that community is being tested like never before. North Korea routinely threatens to destroy Japan with nuclear weapons, prompting a spike in Japanese nationalism. Japanese politicians are feeling increasing pressure to crack down on this North Korean bubble, creating a battleground in the most unlikely of places: schools."
This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime. From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues. The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.