Given the political nature of this thread I don't know that it will last.
Having said that, I have read the UN report on North Korea released earlier this year. Those players are probably kept under a constant watchful eye, and to even remotely speak out about the Kim's results in unspeakable brutality to oneself or family members.
Hopefully someday things improve for the better, and we see that the sport of Hockey persist and grow along with the living conditions for the great people of North Korea.
Coincidentally, this morning I just watched a documentary on North Korea! I am very interested in politics, especially very corrupt/authoritarian governments (no, I do not condone them), and North Korea has interested me for a long time. I have read books, watched documentaries, etc. about this country, but it still seems so mysterious. I am glad that some, even if it's only 1500, are able to experience the great sport of ice hockey. I hope that if/when their government collapses that the outside world will respond to the North Korean civilians with open arms, and not hate.
I like hearing these stories about the lesser-known nations playing hockey. Although the North Korean interest is more political than actual hockey development, its great to see how social media/internet/TV has broadened the game.
Funny enough was just reading about UAE hockey. Its they youngest sport there but gaining players (both male and female) since they already have 4-5 ice rinks. the league exist from 2009. with 5 clubs, of which 3 are mostly expats working there. If you consider they had to start from scratch 5 years earlier and many just starting out, and i mean litteraly since they were barely able to skate, they did an amasing job winning the challange cups and getting and staying in the Division III is amasing. they have some slovaks i think coaching those 2 clubs. they can only get better.