In the late 90s I spent over a year living in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. From the top of a large hill near our apartment we could see North Korea. Being that close, naturally our parents thought we were going to get bombed every time Kim Jong-Il started flailing for attention in the news. One day we went on the military tour up to the DMZ to see it up close and personal and it was just as freaky as we had hoped.
Now you can get further than that with a slide show from the book Welcome to Pyongyang, which we reviewed in Perceptive Travel a while back. This slide show in Budget Travel mixes a few relatively “normal” shots with ones that hint at the cult of the great leader I and II. Then there is just the love of uniformity, like the shots of the women working at the petrol station. (Hey, you don’t get many customers when only party people can afford a car, so you have to look your best!)
If you want to really delve into the Bizarroland that is North Korea, check out the official North Korea News site. Typical headlines this week:
“Hypocritical and Unpopular Nature of Election System under Capitalism under Fire”
“Kim Il Sung’s Reminiscences Published in Pakistan”
Remember, these – and only these – are the news stories the whole population hears on their one-channel radios and government TV. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.