The Kim Jong Suk Middle High School – Pyongsong

After lunch at the  Jangsusan Hotel it was off to school, the Kim Jong Suk Middle High School, one of the classier schools in the county, for gifted children. Gifted children in North Korea will always be from families with higher ‘songbun’ or status within the country – academic ability on its own being insufficient to meet the criteria.

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Pyongyang Trams and Observations from a Short Trip on the Kowngbok (Liberation) Line

Given the dearth of private vehicles in North Korea ordinary citizens rely on public transport to get around, where they cannot walk or cycle to their desired destinations. In Pyongyang public transport comprises a metro (underground) system, trams, trolley-buses and buses. This is supplemented by an increasing number of taxis but due to their extremely high cost, compared to other forms of public transport, they are really only an option for the upper and (growing) middle classes. Continue reading “Pyongyang Trams and Observations from a Short Trip on the Kowngbok (Liberation) Line”

Hoeryong’s Children’s Palace

I suspect it will come as a surprise to many that North Korea has a 100% literacy rate. In North Korea everyone receives twelve years (extended from eleven in 2012) of full time, state funded, education – from kindergarten to high school. After this there is the option to go to university and other institutes of higher learning. Education in North Korea focuses on preparing students for the workforce (including the military) and aims at not only advancing the prospects of each student but also those of the country, consistent with its Juche, or self-reliance, ideology. There is a significant focus on foreign languages, science and technology but this is not at the expense of the arts, culture and sports. Continue reading “Hoeryong’s Children’s Palace”