The tour was a bit long-winded, but here is what I remember both from the official explanation and from more intimate conversations with our minders. Kim Il Sung University was the first university founded in North Korea. Named in honor of the country’s founder and eternal President, the university is responsible for producing the country’s elite of the elite. Only those with impeccable grades and an unwavering fealty to the Songbun way are allowed to attend. Having certain family connections doesn’t hurt either.
“It’s like the Harvard of North Korea,” I joked to our guide.
“Maybe Harvard is the Kim Il Sung University of America,” she quipped back with a smile.