Slovenian band Laibach, known for their ambiguous martial pop reworkings of Europe's The Final Countdown, Queen's One Vision, and Edwin Starr's War, to name but three (along with the many original tracks you hear over the course of their live set), are due to be the the first foreign band to play North Korea. [more inside]
North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
Filming in North Korea is a bit of an iffy task, and you never know when a minder may decide to confiscate your memory cards or camera. That was a risk I didn’t want to take, so I decided not to reveal to them the fact that my 5D was capable of shooting video. I taped up the back screen with black electrical tape. Pyongyang Style – North Korean Haircut
The Ryungyong Hotel is a nearly 1,000 foot tall abandoned pyramid in the heart of Pyongyang that North Korea has officially tried to forget. [discussed previously here] The architecture magazine Domus had over 200 entries to a contest to repurpose the Ryungong, a similar project is also underway elsewhere on the web, though some architects think the effort is a bad idea. [For Domus, use:mefier/mefite]
"The haggis was pronounced excellent by all that ate it, foreigners and Koreans, including the Vice-Minister." A diplomat describes opening the British embassy in Pyongyang. Direct link (rtf) here.
The Pyongyang Metro.[more]
Pyongyang's crosshairs on US Capital "A propaganda poster released by North Korea depicts the country's struggle with the United States over the North's nuclear program." - poster shows North Korean soldier with large shells looking at Capital building crumbling from a large explosion. (NYT)
The 300m (984ft) Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea isn't a hotel - it's a metaphor. (pictures, comparative diagram)