The Hamhung Grand Theatre and North Korean Revolutionary Opera

On returning from a day-trip to Pujon Country we made a short stop in Hamhung’s central square, over which towers the brutalist Hamhung Grand Theatre, without doubt the city’s grandest and most impressive building, up there with the grand edifices of Pyongyang. Continue reading “The Hamhung Grand Theatre and North Korean Revolutionary Opera”

Taean ‘Friendship’ Glass Factory

In 2018 our route to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the border with South Korea took us via Nampo, North Korea’s west coast industrial city and home to the West Sea Barrage. En route to Nampo we stopped at the Taean ‘Friendship’ Glass Factory. No, we were not stopping there to see a glass blowing display or view their offering of cut glass or crystal in a gift shop. They don’t have a gift shop and we where there to see them making large sheets of plate glass for use in glazing windows. Who doesn’t enjoy a good old factory visit while on holidays? Continue reading “Taean ‘Friendship’ Glass Factory”

Eternal Life Monument


Following the death of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, in 1994 and his subsequent elevation to the role of Eternal President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea his son and successor, Kim Jong-il decreed that eternal life monuments (Yeong Saeng) be erected throughout North Korea. These monuments, found in all cities and towns and in workplaces, at sports centres and anywhere people congregate, are thought to number around 3,000 thousand and had the single purpose of reminding the people that Kim Il-sung is with them for ever. When built they were typically inscribed with the words, “Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung is with us for eternity”. Continue reading “Eternal Life Monument”

Eternal Life Monument – Yeong Saeng


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”

Tower of Immortality

Tower of Immortality

Kim Il-sung died in 1994 but the North Korean Constitution states that he is and will remain forever the president of the DPRK. My review – Eternal Life for the Eternal President – covers Yeong Saeng ( Eternal Life) monuments throughout North Korea. These monuments, all similar, imbue the citizens of North Korea to remember that Kim Il-sung will be with them for ever.

This, the Tower of Immortality built at the entrance of Kumsong Street in 1997, does pretty much the same thing and bears a legend reassuring the people that The Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung and the Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong-il (subsequently added of course) will always be with them. Continue reading “Tower of Immortality”