Chairman Mao Zedong

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Less than an hour out of North Korea and I wondered, was I never going to be able to get away from bronze statues of leaders in squares? Continue reading “Chairman Mao Zedong”

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Come Into Our Tender Embrace

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Across the road from the Eternal Life Monument is a duo of murals commonly found throughout North Korea and, in fact, the only murals that I have seen in multiple locations, including in Pyongyang and at Mt Myohyang in addition to this one in Sinuiju. The slogans on these murals are in keeping with the Eternal Life Monument and read “The great comrade Kim Il-sung will be with us forever” and “The great comrade Kim Jong-il will be with us forever”.

Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang, which has a virtual (if not real) monopoly on the production of statues, mosaics and murals of the leaders and, in fact, anything else featuring their images including the ubiquitous lapel pins worn by all adult North Koreans must have a raft of designers to be able to come up with an ever ending stream of new designs and pictures for this artwork.

One has to admit that the pastel colours and highly emphasised smiles on the leaders in these murals create a feeling of warmth and comfort in people looking at them. Who wouldn’t want to be under the wings and loving care of these omnipresent, wise, benevolent and endearing gentlemen?

The cult of personality, unparalleled by any other world leader or indeed person, remains very much alive and well in North Korea, even 20 years after the death of Kim Il-sung and, of course, murals such as this are aimed at cementing loyalty to the Kim dynasty into the future.

The vehicle in the foreground of this picture was our transport in Sinuiju, remembering that in addition to two of us and the driver, room was needed for our two guides as well.

By this stage it was getting on to mid morning and our attention now turned to a more recent generation of North Koreans – our next stop was a school, but off course no ordinary school.


This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on my trip to Sinuiju, North Korea. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Sinuiju School Visit – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – In North Korea – On the Border with China.


 

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”

“Let them eat pizza”

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Pizza in Pyongyang

My reader may be familiar with the retort “let them eat cake’ attributed (probably wrongly) to Queen Marie Antoinette. This retort was made on hearing that French peasants had no bread and showed the speaker’s obliviousness to the condition of the people, especially given that cake (or brioche) was actually more expensive than bread.

Many will know that the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il had a taste for the good things of life and lapped it up Continue reading ““Let them eat pizza””