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Travelers in North Korea

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  • Massive parade for the party's 70th birthday. Unfortunately tourists weren't allowed to attend the mass parade, but we were able to see the airplanes, the fireworks and also some kind of night parade through the city with military equipment, tanks and so on.

  • Having fun in the Folk Park (like a miniature museum) with my translator. My guide and the driver were laughing so hard when he had to dress as a woman (my dress is male). One of the few bright moments full of joy in North Korea.

  • The most interesting part of my tour and so close to South Korea.
    Picture 1: South Korean pavillon. As a guide said, it shows the materialistic attitude of South Korea.
    Picture 2: North Korean and South Korean soldiers just meters away from each other.
    Picture 3: South Korean soldiers observing us.
    Picture 4: Handshake with a North Korean officer.
    Picture 5: With a North Korean tour guide
    Picture 6: With a Korean unificationist. Born in South Korea, he owns the American passport now and is allowed to enter North Korea. He tries to bring the two sides together and works as a "bridge builder" for both countries.Read more

  • Because of my "good behaviour" I was allowed to visit a primary school and learn more about North Korean education. I was able to look into different class rooms, visit teachers and see children singing and dancing. What I saw shocked me. Indoctrination starts here.
    Sorry for the bad pictures. It was getting dark and they had almost no lights inside the school.

  • From left to right:
    -Mr Ri, translator (university student of foreign affairs, 22 years old); Mr Ko, main guide and responsible; the Folk Park woman; me; Mr Ri (No 2), driver and funny guy.

    Overall I was so glad when I was able to board the plane back to Beijing, out of this very interesting but also very weird and propagandistic country. While I met some nice people in the touristic sector, others on the street always stared at me. One older guy even accused me of being an "international spy" (in English!). ;-)
    To sum up, I lost my faith that the two Korean countries can reunite during my lifetime. The two mentalities are just too dissimilar.
    Read more

  • Finally I'm back. After 6 months I'm standing at the same place, the border between North and South Korea but this time on the South side, looking towards the communist building I've been on.
    The circle has completed and the most important part of all my travels in this life has been achieved.
    The last picture shows the views from both sides.