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huh wrote

Maybe because North Korea fits some underdog narrative. They fought back against the big bad US empire. They outlasted the USSR. They didn't compromise like adopting communism with Chinese characteristics. They pose some military threat to the rest of the world. It's inspiring/aspirational to believe this small communist country can survive.

It's easy to dismiss any criticism or reports of oppression as western imperialist propaganda. And with such a small window into the country, it's easy to make up your own myths.