When many people think of North Korea, due to propaganda in the press, sensationalised blogs/ other social media and other biases and preconceptions they often think only of a wicked dictatorship now in possession of nuclear weapons and readying itself to take over the world while its people are brainwashed, starving and sent to gulags and re-education camps for the most trivial of offences or no offence at all. A growing number of people believe that the best way of dealing with these problems is to blow North Korea of the face of the earth. Continue reading “No Horns Or Tails Were Removed – A Pictorial Review”
Two airlines fly into North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), the national airline, Air Koryo and Air China. Invariably you will fly in from Beijing to Pyongyang though a few tourists enter from Vladivostok and there are on again off again flights from Shanghai. The airline also has a (very) small number of other international routes (not currently used by tourists). Continue reading “Getting to North Korea by Air and Pyongyang Airport”
In the introductory review on my September 2018 visit to North Korea I noted that the US President, Donald Trump, had entered into an amorous relationship with Kim Jong-un. On 29 September, 2018 at a political rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, President Trump declared that he and Kim Jong-un “fell in love” after the North Korean leader wrote him “beautiful letters”.
“I was really being tough, and so was he,” President Trump said of Marshal Kim. “And we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love, OK? No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they’re great letters. We fell in love.” Continue reading “What Do North Koreans Think Of Americans?”
Article 67 of the North Korean Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press in North Korea. Continue reading “The Media and Freedom of Communication in North Korea”
While I watch very little television at home and I would seldom ever watch it while travelling, after my 2014 trip to North Korea I urged future visitors to actually watch a little television. Television, like many other things, in North Korea – or rather the programming content – is not quite like the television most of us are accustomed to at home. North Korea is not your everyday normal location. Continue reading “Ri Chun-hee And Television In North Korea”
Should you visit North Korea it will not take you long to realise that anything of any importance is named after Kim Il-sung or more recently, since his death in 2011, Kim Jong-il. Very little, at this point is named after the current leader, Kim Jong-un.
It will thus come as no surprise that the most important flowers (trumping the national flower, the magnolia) in North Korea are the Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia. Yes indeed, that is what they are called – I kid you not.
To include this review as a warning or danger would be to exaggerate the impact on a visitor. The oft times lacking and erratic power supply in North Korea is more something you should be aware of and indeed I invite you to turn it to your advantage and enjoy the darkness in North Korea. Continue reading “Does One Really Need A Torch In North Korea?”
There are numerous rules for tourists in North Korea. The ones around photography are the most complicated, confusing, inconsistent and inconsistently applied. While the rules themselves seem to have been relaxed only very marginally, if at all, since my last visit in 2014 the enforcement of the rules seems not to be as strict – apart from in more remote and less visited parts of the country.
Very few visitors, apart from those who have no camera, make it through a tour of North Korea without being counselled on their photography – or rather, being told off for taking a photo when they should not have. Continue reading “Rules Around Photography in North Korea and Their Enforcement – With a Side Comment on Mobile Phones”
My reader will perhaps be rather puzzled as to why my first picture in a North Korean money review is of a 100 Chinese Yuan bill after which I feature some Euros and an American note while the local currency of North Korea, the Won, is relegated to fourth place. Continue reading “Money And The North Korean Economy”
The purpose of this review is to introduce you to the key people (Kims) you should be familiar with prior to visiting North Korea. You will certainly be well aware of them before you leave unless you close your eyes and plug your ears for the duration of your trip! Should you read my other reviews you will encounter reference to, and more details on, these people with, perhaps, monotonous regularity. Welcome to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!