Conflict Iran

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Inside North Korea

Click on Picture(s) to Enlarge:

Pictures of North Korea taken by two journalists from Russia.


A rare view of Pyongyang.
All the forigners got to visit the main park, locals were denied admission
5.1 means May 1st, they don't do big celebrations.
Those who were smarter didn't go to the park and instead relaxed by the river.
The hotel, construction was abandoned in 1991, its not recomended to take pictures of it when you're close.
That's ok we'll admire it from far.

Apartment buildings are modest too.
Koreans have the habit to walk with their hands behind their back, men rarely wear light and flashy colors. Thats an excusion to the cemetary of the revolutionaries


Culture house of a model collective farm
Another culture house
Looks like the planet Mars

And put a room full of old consoles in the model pioneer palace (in which the escalator was turned on when the forigners arrived)

Village where Kim Il Song, spend a night during his youth.












A common sight, broken down gas-fueled truck, they drive slow and make a lot of smoke. You're not supposed to take that picture.


Sometimes you see japanese or german cars. Koreans love Mercedes Benz, which they only know as Benz. Benz - is the favorite car of NK leaders. In Kim Il song mausoleum , his SEL 500 is parked forever on some porcelain supports. Maybe the love for benz will explain the following pictures


Line at the bus stop, people who take the bus are those who have to walk more than 30 mins toget home. You can't move freely in NK, you need authorisations, and you have check-points everywhere. When the car crossed teh check point, the driver flashed the lights, perhaps its a meaning that a forigner is on board.

Traffic lights exist but they dont work.

The drivers never stop in front of pedestrians, they constantly honk. The guide coulnt not explain the lack of reflex of the pedetrians when they hear a car. In the countryside people walk
Traffic signs warn you of other traffic signs.
No cars at all. The drivers on the other hand never chek their mirrors or look back. For some reason the gas stations are covered up and passangers must exit the car before the driver goes to the gas station.
In Pyongyang there is a lot of underground passages for crossing the street, everyone respects the rules, if you cross the street where you're not supposed to you get a fine, even if the road usually looks like this.
The particularity of the cities is the lack of cars. Everyone is walking, sometimes they take packed public transportatins made of tramways, trolleys and even 2 storie buses. The bicycles are rare and expensive. The pedestrian zebra is original.


It seems that the goal of the NK architects was to make stations more impressive that Moscow's metro.
Trains are made of 4 wagons, the doors are opened by hand and closed automatically.
The escalator is very long, and the lighting is original.
Entrances to the subways look somewhat shabby.
Inside you have the tourniquets that arrive you to the knee, contrary to chinese Koreans are of short stature. The sign reads: Kim Jong IL - the Sun of 21st century!
That means that a food joint is near, by the way even in China they draw a fork.
You can see this on the doors, the X means entrance forbidden, and the thingy taht looks like a target means enter here.
In a model pioneer palace, a concert is shown, at the end a picture of Kim Jong Il is shown, the forigners are in extasy.
Fancy garbage cans in parks.
NK like to customize their number ,as you can see with the 40
This means, shoe repairs upstairs.
Every citizen has a pin of Kim Il Song, except for little children, waiters (the pin is probably hidden by work clothes), and Kim Il Song himself You cannot buy this pin.

One of the 2 compositions next to Kim Il Song monument.
In every place you will have a Pole with a citation of the great leader.
Bronze is often used in the monument, here you can see the worker, the farmworker and the intellectual.

You can often see pictures of Kim Jon Suk (wife of Kim Il Song) Like his composition is called "Comarade Kim Jon Suk is saving Kim Il Song), but Kim Il Song is shown even more often
NK defends itself not only from imperialist agressors, every neiborhood is defended. Once by a coincidence, he took a picture of that buliding with AC on every window. Of couse he was told that he's not allowd to take the picture. Apperently this is not an ordinary house, maybe scientists live there.
Banners with Kim Il Song , who calls up people for heroic acts. For some reason commarade Kim is young.
The only ads in NK, an advertisment for a car (made in cooperation with the South) that you will only see in the capital, there are 3 different banners/models.
A composition showing the heroism of the workers, its a rather unique piece since the military is on the 2nd plan.
On may 1st, the tourists got to see a concert and taekwondo students so everyone would know that the new replacement is growing up.
A NK beach, electrified barbed-wire so the NK citiziens wouln't swim away, of couse you're not allowed to take that picture.
Just in case they put those things up on every road in the radius of 50km from the border, they are often decorated.
NK love to show off military trophees, like the american spy ship Pueblo.
Pieces of US aicraft in a museum, that are gathered up with a lot of love.
They also have those in the mountains.
They do everything, taking care of the cattle, picking up wood, and ride 40 persons in a truck
The road is prepared for an invasion, the big cubes can be pushed on the road to trap the enemy tanks.
About 10% of the population serves in the military, its impossible not to cross soldiers
Sand is where NK is.
As a form of entertainement both Koreas will take you to a visit to the border. One mystery remains, how comme under capitalism the roads are good and under communism sh*tty.
Next to the statue wearing an ironic t-shirt ( Hysteria of the USSR), the guide didn't know russian well, and when was asked an unplesant question didn't know russian at all
You have to button up your shirt and look serious, and leave eveything except your sunglasses at the entrance, you will have to go trough an x-ray scanner (which no one tells you about), and for some reason there is a wi-fi router. The statue is white, and the light on top is blue and on the bottom is red. And its called a "visit" because the Great Leader is still "alive"
Reality of the NK, a forigner will not see this generally.
The whole Pyongyang is like this, when he asked the guide about the old houses the guide said that old people didn't want to move out in the new ones and like it that way
during the day the elevator didn't work for 15 mins

View from the monument, besides the pretty view you can also see the dead birds.
Koreans are not shy when it comes to basic needs, the guide forbid to take pictures of men taking a piss on the middle of the road, but there was no problem when it happened in the capital next to to a monument (look at the guy on the steps)

The big monument, (they cut off the electricity at 11)

When building in a city they tend to block the old houses with tall bulidings , if that is not possible they put a concrete fence so you would only see the roof.
As soon as you try to take a picture different from the magazine "Korea" the guide will say: "why are you taking a picture" "it's forbidden here"

Life in a village

The city at night is scary, there is no light on the streets and people use white lights and no curtains. Water seems not to be avaliable everywhere when you leave the capital. A woman is washing her clothes in the river.

The plaster statues are clean and not broken apart. North Korea is a perfect reproduction of the year 1950.
Oil is almost inexistant, so most of the labor is manual.

North Koreans are always amazed when they see a white man.

They still havent figured out how to make flat glass withtout bubbles, the only exception are the windows in the hotel or large vitrines.

Sometimes you see people selling some kind of a vegetable, that was taken next to a fruits and veggies store, they immediatly closed the door as they saw a tourist.

On your arrival at the airport you need to leave your cellphone, no roaming service is avaliable but if you select an operator manually you get PRK 03 although he never saw a single person with a cell-phone. Laptops are allowed it seems that north koreans are not aware of cards that can make your laptop to work like a cellphone.

The only house where a foreigner will be ever allowed on his visit. It's a model-house of a model-farmworker of a model-collective farm. There is even something that looks like a computer made of components that are not even plugged together. Internet does not exist, only intranet is avalaible.

Kiosk that sells foreign product to tourists, as in snickers chinese sprite and lays from 2001. You have to chose your product pay at a sepate booth get a checkstub and give it to the merchant to get your purchase.

On your arrival you will be assigned to a guide and a driver. That will constantly follow you. You can't leave the hotel on your own. The daily program consists of 2-3 visits to a landmark. In the hotel you can watch BBC,NTV (russian chan),and a couple of chinese channels, so you can't really complain about freedom of speech. The food is good, and you can't complain about that either. In a park he saw elder women picking up herbs, the guide said that it was for the rabbits, although it was clear that it was the kind of herb that the "owners of the rabbits" could eat.
Kiosk for locals, most of the time they sell lemonade, forigers are given a plastic cup, locals get porcelain mugs, that are washed in a bucket of water after use.


17 Comments:

  • very nice and informative pics, what a shitty country

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:43 PM  

  • Thanks for sharing the pics. I cant imagine living a life in North Korea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 PM  

  • Very good photos and comments, your blog is really interesting and relevant.
    Please don't stop !!

    Ludovic

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:53 PM  

  • Really nice rich stuff...i've never seen NK pics before...its really quiet down there....
    hey why don't you visit egypt....sinai is a good place for pics..
    cheers

    By Blogger SiNai sPiRiT, at 1:36 AM  

  • What a crazy society to live in. Might as well be living on another planet if you are in the PRK.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:27 AM  

  • Lets not shit NK. The citizens are really pitiful. The entire nation is in denial and self deceive. I reallly have no idea what would drive their beloved leader to do such a thing to his own country. Their citizens know of nothing else but prepare for war. As a result, the whole country is so restricted. They should know that nobody wants to fight them. NK is fighting nobody but themselves.

    By Blogger Lost, at 9:51 PM  

  • Amazing pictures. Not sure if I missed it, but curious how you got to tour there.

    By Anonymous SpeedyTV.com, at 6:56 AM  

  • fuck you all, very much!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 AM  

  • My goodness gracious! I wouldn't wanna go there even in my dreams! What a crap of a place to live in. My pity goes out to the citizens. How can their leader subject them to such deplorable living conditions? There's so life at all. It's all so terrible.

    :---O

    By Anonymous worldtraveler, at 7:49 PM  

  • NK...perfect example of how a group
    of many can be controlled by just a few with power.

    What a damned shame and how unfortunate for the pitiful people of that country. A pox on the leadership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:37 PM  

  • Such contrast ... lovely photography ... THANKS for sharing the photos.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM  

  • Great Photos, its hard to break the mold in terms of culture and what you are, or are not used to

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 AM  

  • NK does not seem to be bad. Many other Third World countries are much worse than DPRK -- slums and children gangs -- but you will not write about that, because you would have to find that capitalism is sh.t. THINK!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 PM  

  • What a bloody pity. South korea is a prosperous,beautiful country full of healthy, beautiful people and North korea is a piece of dog dung. Look you fooking left leaning pricks and see where your glorious socialism and communism will get you!! Im afraid there would be more parts of the world looking like this today had it not been for the sacrifices of thousands of democracies soldeirs. Mostly american. I give thanks such men lived.

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