- Travel vlogger Louis Cole uploaded a series of videos documenting his trip to North Korea
- Cole drew criticism for painting the repressive nation in a positive light and failing to address the human rights abuses committed by the government
- He denied being paid by the North Korean government for the videos
A recent controversy is shaking up the world of a travel vlogger in Youtube.
U.K.-based vlogger Louis Cole travels around the world and makes videos to document his adventures. His Youtube channel FunForLouis have amassed 1.8 million subscribers that follow his journey across the globe.
In a video titled “THIS MIGHT BE MY LAST VLOG…” uploaded in Cole’s Youtube channel on August 9, he shared to his viewers that his next destination will be North Korea and described it as “what could be the biggest adventure he will ever have.”
Cole documented his 10-day-long travel, which followed his usual upbeat formula in his travel vlogs, where he was seen visiting North Korea’s capital Pyongyang and its famous landmarks, interacting with the locals, and catching some waves. However, the travel vlogger was criticized for ignoring the harsh realities that are prevalent in the country he was visiting.
North Korea or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), known to be a politically repressive nation, has been under the public eye for committing human rights abuses to its own citizens.
The British Youtuber is also being accused of contributing to the DPRK’s government propaganda and possibly being paid to do so.
To dispel rumors and allegations, Cole decided to set the record straight through a video.
“I know that makes good headlines but there’s no truth in it whatsoever,” he said. “I’m not being paid by the North Korean government.”
“I do not agree with the North Korean ideologies but I do care for and love the people there,” he added.
He explained that he only showed what he experienced as a tourist and wanted to focus on the positive things, departing from the negative image shown by mainstream media.
“I’m looking for the beautiful, positive things. I want to connect with local people, learn about the culture and the country,” he said.
“I’m not a investigative journalist, I don’t do political commentary. There are other places on the internet that you can go to find those kind of things,” he added.
Watch Cole’s North Korea travel vlogs below: