International Friendship Exhibition

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Throughout our tour in North Korea our guides went to great lengths to extol the virtues and wholesomeness of North Korea and its Leaders and took great pride in the fact that it and its people are pure, clean and devoid of negative outside influences. Our guide told us of how the State makes every effort to protect itself and its citizens from everything bad and wicked. This, of course or at least for the domestic audience, explains why North Korea isolates itself from the outside world rather than the outside world isolating itself from North Korea. Continue reading “International Friendship Exhibition”

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Pohyon Temple – Mt Myohyang

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Pohyon Buddhist temple, one of the few places of worship in North Korea open to foreign visitors, dates from 1042 and the Koryo dynasty. It was founded by a monk named Kwanghwak and is named after the saint that guards the morals of Buddha. The current incarnation of the temple mainly dates from post the Korean war (1951-53) when the temple complex was extensively damaged by US bombings with over half of the buildings completely destroyed. Continue reading “Pohyon Temple – Mt Myohyang”

Eternal Life Monument – Yeong Saeng

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If you have read others of my North Korea entries you will be aware that monuments to, statues of and murals and pictures of the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il liberally adorn the country. Every city, town, and indeed village, has an assortment of these. I do hasten to add, though, that these items are not on every street corner as some more sensationalist observers like to portray. Continue reading “Eternal Life Monument – Yeong Saeng”

Treasures in the Mountains

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From the beautiful to the bizarre

When we visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il) in Pyongyang we were guided through numerous rooms full of certificates, degrees, awards, vehicles, boats and much more, bestowed upon the Great and Dear Leaders during their lives. There were literally thousands of items on display here.

This abundance of accolades and gifts was but a mere foretaste of what was to come. Continue reading “Treasures in the Mountains”