Wouldn't necessarily say so. The CIA got its agents everywhere, even in the places that are officially "closed" to them. It's just the business they do.
And there's already been a lot of stuff revealed what the West knew about the Eastern block or what kind of weird things they collected in order to get information about the zeitgeist in those countries - also, in return, how much they spread which was total nonsense.
What I wanted to say... Imagening the issue with North Korea to be different would be foolish.
For example: In the West, it's always called "a country closed to the world" or so. But, the truth is: It's more that the West closed to North Korea than the other way round. Western airlines don't make efforts to offer lines to NK. From China - and, I think, during the last years Belarus wanted to offer a line to NK -, it's fully possible. Couple of other countries in the neighborhood surely too.
Western states do a lot of crap and then wonder why a country rejects letting people enter its country which it knows about they're the kind of people they don't want there.
The other way around it's a self-evidence that Western states work with visa and retain their ability to reject a traveler wanting to enter their countries. So, what exactly is NK doing there which is despicible? They just do what all the other countries do too...
With an unsolved war situation upon the peninsula, it should be logical that they take very sensitive care of who they let enter their country twice as much.
So, is that really "a country closed to the world"?
If almost all of the world imposes embargoes onto a country every decade again and cuts all traffic lines there, who's the one closing itself in this game?
So - stronger guess is: They let a few pieces of information come through which you usually don't get to hear. To blame surely is the new situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the pieces of information themselves are new or are false.
During the past few years there's been an increase in information and pictures allegedly being done in North Korea (legally even) anyway, no matter which side-leaning media you read.
And that info you get to hear during that is: In NK, majority of the people these days don't starve, don't get whipped to death, they live normal lives like everyone else, maybe save some of the daily media terror by cell-phones and internet garbage (because all that needs huge capacities of power plants to run all the servers and radio masts, which the country doesn't necessarily have just like that) and the steady overstimulation through omnipresent adverts on the streets, houses and in media too.
What interests me is the way Western propaganda about North Korea is being modified. For decades we've been told the country is uniquely awful. Now we're being weaned away that view. It suggests to me that the initiative Trump is fronting has some substance to it.
Propaganda about the states of the former Soviet block or the Soviet block itself as a closed thing is pretty good comparison to that. Especially, when you hear differing people describe their lives back then and they aren't all overly negative, like Western propaganda always wanted to tell.
Having that point of view available, I wouldn't see it as a miracle if for NK things aren't much different. If most of what the West spread about it simply was their own propaganda being continuously repeated for decades and just because barely anyone went to NK himself, there was barely a voice correctting their impressions based on solely fairy tale writing of Western intelligence services.
I'd see Trump's actions now as a seperate thing from that.
It will be more like a key that opens a gate - but the content behind the gate was the same before through all that times. Only you just one position telling you what is behind it - which is, to be frank, a very limited resource to give judgment about a thing.
One of the things about Trump is that he's come from outside the system. He sees openings where the professional politicians have been conditioned to see brick walls.
Well, in his case this might bring a chance, but also it needn't be so, as he's already grown up with the big enemy image of NK.
At first, he even spoke exactly like this as he took the topic on.
There will be something else what took place...
The US wanted to ignite war on the peninsula, but anytime even South Korea must have realized that. Also they must have understood the US is ready and willing to let them go down in this war against the North.
Not wanting to be destroyed in general, both Koreas started their own peace initiative to give a knock-out to the plans of the US groups which aimed for war.
Trump, eating too much anyway more than he can chew, also maneuvered himself into a dead end by saying he would say yes to a meeting with the North Korean head of state (better use this term as just to remember what Kim Jong actually is), so then he was left without a choice as the other side grabbed this possibility to hold it against him if he started acting picky again.
I don't think that was only a question of his public image, it sure also was a question then, in the end, if the state he represents actually wants to have any say in the future events of the Korean issue at all.
So to say, he was the smaller party at the big table at the summit.
Him being the blabbermouth that he is got him there into that position.
Even the people standing behind him in the US couldn't help the situation now and needed to swallow this pill and whatever result came out of that meeting.
Personally, it might be Trump now learned that the demonized other side isn't so much evil as always told - at least for his business purposes (think about the phrase of the beaches and the nice hotels they'd need, in his view). So that this altered his talking now also from human reasons.
But, whoever knows what he also received in conditions to do for North Korea - remember, he was the smaller party at the table... Not the one to decide what's going on.
He has also received his requirements for a contract, for positive behavior and positive relations.
And, who knows also, what reason for he got them. Like him being told "we know all about your plans - think twice before you start to act, it'll be you in this game who's gonna receive the bigger bruises if we really go to war" and then he needed to surrender in some way because there was no other choice left...
It surely also reaches Trump's office that the US military at home and the economical power of the US is way more limited these days than during Cold War times where they had big resources. In other words: Even if they lead war against a smaller country, victory is not guaranteed anymore if they really let fighting happen.
So, with a fraction ready to give this to them if they want it, they should better make their best efforts to get this scenario avoided - otherwise it's going to get painful and embarrassing for the US upper class.
Until I came to write this post I never knew there was such a thing.