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A tour of North Korea
May 7, 2003 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Impressive monuments, lousy souvenir stands, and lots and lots of vigilant soldiers. An American living in South Korea takes a once-in-a-lifetime trip to North Korea. 11 pages full of photos including a hundred thousand colored pieces of cardboard, and a sampling of the five billion pictures of Kim Il-sung.
posted by CrunchyFrog (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
very interesting; thanks. and here i thought i was going to get some work done.
posted by xmutex at 1:40 PM on May 7, 2003


good god. why not just call it "oceania?"
posted by ronv at 2:10 PM on May 7, 2003


Great account and amazing pictures. A trip to the North sounds like equal parts fascination and frustration. I've been to third world dictatorships before, but this one takes the cake.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 2:26 PM on May 7, 2003


"The only thing that seemed out of place (other than us) was the meat. Having dined on dog meat numerous times in the South most of us agreed that we probably weren't eating beef . . . Squeamish diners beware - nothing says you're eating dog like having little hairs poking out of the fatty parts of the meat!"

Exscuse me while I file that under Shit I Didn't Need To Know
posted by shadow45 at 3:12 PM on May 7, 2003


Too bad he didn't get to see Kim Jong-Il control the weather.
posted by homunculus at 3:32 PM on May 7, 2003


It seems time stands still for many a Communist country. NKorea reminded him of the 70's?

Interesting, it was the 70's when I visited then Communist Poland. It looked like they were stuck in the 50's.

Is a false hope in the belief of the good old days, no change is a good thing?

The huge 2 story billboards praising the system are one and the same in NKorea and Communist Poland of the past.

No slagging the leaders, the same. No photo's allowed here and there, the same; visas, the same. I was a student then. Dress codes? I stuck out like a sore thumb. Trust? No one.

Once driving my [privileged [a doctor]] Uncle's car, I was stopped by the military police. I showed them my international license. The photo was taken when I had past shoulder length, "long" hair. I had trimmed it for the trip. "This is a woman, where's you're license?" the guy says to me. "No, that's me before my hair cut", I reply. I pulled out the Canadian passport to show him the names were the same.

He let me go along my way after a lengthy discussion, but I'll never forget his "this is a woman" comment.

Excellent link, thanks CrunchyFrog, what a great trip. What an incredible landscape, those mountains. I'm exhausted.

I hope that wall the "SKoreans and US" built will come down soon.
posted by alicesshoe at 4:07 PM on May 7, 2003


Very interesting. For some reason, I'd always figured that North Korea was a miserable tract of scorched and blasted land covered in starving peasants, but it's nice to know that isn't true.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:18 PM on May 7, 2003


Wow great link, one of the most interesting I have found on Metafilter! Thanks, CrunchyFrog.

Oh and Mitovarr, foreigners aren't allowed for the most part go to those parts of N. Korea, but they exist.
posted by cell divide at 5:30 PM on May 7, 2003


Excellent and very interesting... Is it wrong that I have a thing for massive sculptures?
posted by smackfu at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2003


Impressive monuments...lousy souvenir stands...???? Hell, I thought you were talking about Gettysburg for a second there.
posted by alumshubby at 6:41 PM on May 7, 2003


That was incredibly interesting and very creepy. Thanks for posting it. I visited the Soviet Union back in 1965 and it wasn't anywhere near as closed a society as this.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:57 PM on May 7, 2003


Great link cruchyfrog! Thanks!
posted by dejah420 at 8:23 PM on May 7, 2003


What a great travelogue. I'm hoping that no one gets in trouble bc of the things said on the site, but then again, these guys barely have a concept of the Internet, much less metafilter.
posted by Dukebloo at 9:25 PM on May 7, 2003


I hear that "The Dear Leader" (KJI) surfs the net, but he visits a few major news sites to check about what is being said about him.

Hello Kim Il-Jong, if you're out there. Don't change your hair for nobody! :)
posted by RobbieFal at 6:43 PM on May 8, 2003


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