Even after the US embargo
forbidding it's own citizens from travelling to North Korea, there are currently three travel agencies that offer entry to North Korea: Koryo Group, Juche Tours and Young Pioneer Tours. Booking and visa procedures are simple. Entry is either by daily plane from Beijing, or two planes a week from Vladivostok, or by daily train from China (Dandong). We flew on Air Koryo's Tupolev aircraft from Beijing (1h15), and had the opportunity to read Kim Jong Un's New Year's Address (with the famous "red button" and with his wish for re-unification) in the Pyöngyang Times.
Seated next to us on the plane was North Korea's national football coach Jorn Andersen (Norwegian/German)
Hot Chicks in Cold Korea
Cold Noodle, the National Dish
Pyöngyang, a surprisingly modern capital
The Ryugyong or "Rocket Launch Hotel" was built in 1987 and remained the world's biggest hotel (at 330m and 105 floors) for many years, however it still couldn't be opened, because of the downturn in tourism plan figures.
This skyscraper provides luxury housing for scientists and engineers.
Many high-rise apartment buildings in Pyöngyang.
Cars too, including some Mercedes.
And taxis of course.
A cruise ship for parties and weddings on the Taedong River.
The supermarkets in the capital are well-stocked (not only in the hotels).
There is a special internet and mobile phone network for foreigners, separate from the local "intranet".
Getting a haircut, rocket style
It is not forbidden to ask for the great leader's haircut.
A good sense of humour exists among North Koreans.
The Koryo, the best hotel in Pyöngyang
Kaesong, the former capital and oldest (and only undestroyed) city
Our guesthouse in Kaseong, the Tanamsan Hotel. Unheated. Because of the embargo against oil & gas, not only civilians freeze terribly in the cold winter (-10 °C), but also tourists. Hmm, I wonder why they don't master the civilian use of nuclear energy ...
The better-known Folk Hotel in Kaesong was even closed completely. Cold War.
(Note: one of the many, many solar energy panels in North Korea at the top left)
DMZ: the Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjom
I had been to the blue UN barracks on the Panmunyom borderline some 15 years before, from the Southern side. It was actually more friendly and informative to visit from the Northern side than from the Southern side. The Southerners do not allow smiling, laughing, hand waving, jeans, sneakers, or free walking (we had to goose step instead !). A special badge is compulsory in the South, and one must sign not to flee to the North. (*)
The 38° parallel was decided to divide Korea at the Yalta Conference (February 1945), in the same way in which the division of Germany was decided at the same conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.
Handshake with the friendly North Korean officer.
This would have been unthinkable with the fierce-looking South Korean UN/US border guards (during my visit in the same DMZ building, from the South, 15 years ago).
The Armistice Signing Hall
The US started the Korean War in 1950 to establish a strategic military presence near China & Russia (and to grease their Military Industrial Complex). This letter shows the US asking Korea for peace. First time ever that they were officially (half-) defeated.
The (Western made !) Concrete Wall
Few people know that the West (US & South Korea) built a concrete wall all along the 38° parallel, visible only from the North. Even fewer people know that the German wall was also provoked by the West (through Tenenbaum's introduction of the D-Mark).
Mr. US-President, tear down this wall !
The captured USS Pueblo spy ship and other US spy failures (after ! the armistice with North Korea)
At the time, in 1968, the USS Pueblo pretended to be a fish trawler ...
... but after surrendering, the proof could not be hidden.
Holy Shit !
High level apologies.
The captain admitting his guilt.
The whole espionage team of 83 staff (minus one down) was allowed to travel back to the US within less than a year.
The US used biological (anthrax) and chemical weapons (napalm) and they dropped more than one 500-kg-bomb (pictured here) per inhabitant of North Korea, that is more than 10 mio bombs !!! Every inch of land in the North was destroyed. 2.5 Million or one quarter of the North Korean population was killed by the US. That was even heavier US bombardment against civilians than the US against Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, etc.
Of course many poor American draft soldiers died too (foto), but not US civilians.
Plenty of captured US war material at the unique War Museum in Pyöngyang.
How North Korea views the West
Hollywood, TV, Press, the "Manufacturing of Consent":
Brainwashing through Propaganda in the WEST is a lot worse than in North Korea.
95% of Westerners don't have a clue about this. Go figure.
Ever wondered what CIA- and Google-executive Eric Schmidt was doing 5 times in North Korea?
Or ex-presidents Carter and Clinton? Bringing US spies back in private jets - in exchange for ... ?
(Source: Truthfeed, YouTube)
Posters from the other side
Too much propaganda ?
Check it out for yourself !
Wishing the Korean people that they are re-united soon, and that the occupation of South Korea ends !
Stop the Communist surveillance & police state on BOTH sides !