It's a dictatorship of the most extreme kind, a cult of personality beyond anything Stalin or Mao could have imagined, a country as closed off to the world and as secretive as they come -- a true hermit kingdom. So why would an American tourist ever be allowed into the country?
The North Korean leadership has used its nuclear program for theatrical purposes from the very beginning. It has relied on the spectacle of rocket launches and covert nuclear facilities to keep the attention of its foreign and domestic audiences.
In North Korea, the images of the Great Leader Kim il Sung and the Great General Kim Jong il are everywhere. This is not a Soviet-style cult of personality. Leader-worship here is a full-fledged religion.