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Old August 27th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #1601
ausie
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i'd really like to see some pics from sun set especially considering how much it reflected the sky in the last pic
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Old August 27th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #1602
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Seems like the guy considers eating noodles as signs of 'not too bad a life'. That's pretty weak.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #1603
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No, he considers food and markets in conspicuous amounts in towns and cities that are not Pyongyang to be signs of 'not too bad a life'. And he's right.

I find very odd the insistance that a lot of people have that North Korea must be the poorest and most undeveloped country in the world (It seems). Why not complain about its dictatorship? its vile social controls? Its dangerous military provocations? No, that's not enough, its also got to be incapable of constructing buildings as well.

So we get the ludicrous display of people looking at pictures of run down eastern block architecture - townscapes that could be China of ten years ago or eastern Russia today - and exclaiming that its the worst thing they've ever seen, LOL at the North Koreans.

I just don't understand the need. You don't get this about Burma, or Turkmenistan, or Zimbabwe, or Iran, Yemen, or anywhere else.




Here are some photos I liked in Ray Cunnigham's photostream of Pyongyang amusement park. How does this fit into people's narratives of North Korea?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaruka/...7624666295747/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaruka/...7624666295747/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaruka/...7624666295747/

(I can't seem to post them up here, and there are other, better ones that are copyrighted on his flickr anyway.)

Now, does the existance of happy people going to a well maintained funfair prove that North Korea isn't a foul dictatorship? No, of course not. It just proves that North Korean people are, y'know, normal people and spend their lives living and working in and for a society that also operates on a 'normal' level. So lets not pretend it doesn't.

Last edited by mediadave; August 27th, 2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #1604
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Normal?

Yes, it could be but when you live a lie, it can become normal. We have seen it before.

I do not believe everything my leaders tell me. I will never call Mr. Obama DEAR LEADER and think he was born under a rainbow on a mountain with doves crying...

Since this thread cannot talk only about the construction of the Ryugyong, I'll give you this bit of 'truth' from the official DPKR website:

Only few people in the world know that Korea is divided by a big concrete wall in the Parallel 38 that was built by the United States of America when the Korean War finished.This wall is hundreds of times bigger than the one that existed in Germany and is separating the Korean families, brothers, parents... the nation is divided because the U.S.A. is dominating the southern part and keeps an army of more than 40.000 soldiers to avoid the union of the Korean people.



Korea is an independent and sovereign state, but the South is still controlled by the
imperialist interests and the U.S. troops .If any South Korean citizen tries to visit North Korea crossing the big concrete wall, he'll be killed by the american soldiers. The 'Security Law' in South Korea forbides to any South Korean citizen to talk or read about the North or else he'll be punished with jail or even death penalty.

Yes yes, only a few people know about the wall and South Koreans get the DEATH PENALTY for talking about the DPKR.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #1605
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So North Korea is a dictatorship that can be a bit fruity with the truth. So? What's your point?

(Incidentally, both the border tank barrier and national security law exist.)
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Old August 27th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #1606
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http://www.korea-dpr.com/forum/?page_id=39

No real point to my post. I'm trying to get off the political discussion, but it is so difficult.

Tell me about the 'Security Law'. Nevermind, I just read it. Death penalty for 'anti-state' sctivities. Does not say specifically you cannot discuss the entire country of North Korea. Too bad the NK's don't check out the major SK newspapers today: Three front page stories about North Korea.

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/55a/205.html

I wonder why there is not too much information on the official DPKR website about the Ryugyong hotel! The last update was in August 2009. You would think they would be so very proud of turning that concrete monster into a BEAUTIFUL (almost) finished masterpiece of supertall architecture!

Last edited by Viperfreak2; August 27th, 2010 at 10:41 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #1607
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Ryugyong Hotel Pics

I am the person that took the Ryugyong photos. I am an American and this was my third trip in. This trip lasted 11 days and was with Koryo tours in Beijing.

From what the locals tell me there is no plan to open this as a hotel. There is a plan to open the restaurants but I still think that is wishful thinking. Many of the restaurants in Pyongyang are often closed or have limited hours. There is not a shortage of either hotel rooms or restaurants.

The visit to the construction site was a real rush. I had requested it but was always brushed aside. This time we got it and we almost got to the bottom observation area but the bus got stuck. This was the best I could do. There was construction still going on at 6pm in the evening.

The DPRK is not the garden spot for vacations but I keep going back for photos of life there and the Ryugyong progress. To see it up close was great but I will leave it to the construction experts to tell me what I am looking at. I have requested access inside but maybe I can get a tour on next years visit.

There is a story that a fog descended on the city and a helicopter was heard and when the fog lifted the crane was gone.

If you would like to see more photos from August they are here:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaruka/...7624768838428/

Last edited by Zaruka; August 27th, 2010 at 09:32 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #1608
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Respect!
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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaruka View Post
I have requested access inside but maybe I can get a tour on next years visit.
Thanks for the updates! You took some great pictures of the mysterious country, especially its people.

Hope you can get inside next year. People here are eager to see some pictures of the interior.

Btw, what a surprise to see the Beijing pictures that you took in 1985!
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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #1610
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thanks for the updates
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Old August 30th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #1611
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the money spend could have been much better utilized im sure

nevertheless a good looking structure considering it was set out in the 1980s
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Old August 30th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #1612
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Zaruka: What specifically did the locals say about "Not going to be opened as a hotel"

What did the bus get stuck in/on? The streets look so empty, I can't see what there is to get stuck in?

You say you are American and visited NK. According to the DPKR site this is allowed once a year for a week during the Arirang. This is in October 2010, so how did you get there recently???
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Old August 30th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #1613
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i wonder how you got to pyongyang but still great to hear
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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #1614
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just an amazing wonderful tower is the best city in the world
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Old August 30th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1615
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The other day, Oprah made NK sound like a horrible place. I wonder if her information was checked and double checked before her show on the two captured journalists. They obviously had no way to see the real DPKR, because they were prisoners. Is the above information real, or a propaganda trick? All the photos seem to indicate a real change in NK opening the country little by little. It could all be frosting on the cake like the Ryugyong hotel. or a real move towards making them less isolated. I don't know.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #1616
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperfreak2 View Post
image hosted on flickr
Please do not think that I am being ANTI-North Korea or using American Media. But I seriously worry for the people that will be living on these upper floors. It may be shiny and glitzy with glass on it. But I wouln't even consider entering this building
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Old August 30th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #1617
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I go in annually with Koryo Tours. The Arirang Mass Games run most of the summer so US passport holders can go on short or long tours. I recommend it. Short of walking on the moon North Korea is as far from reality as it gets.

The "North Korea is horrible" line works every time. Consider that there is no one to say otherwise and no one has been there. It is easy to smear a place no one has been to.

That said, I can tell bad stories I have heard or things I have seen. The balance of a society is not judged from the extremes. I don't judge the US by the penal system in Texas. I think that the DPRK does horrible damage to their reputation with their press releases and bellicose statements. They are not good at PR.

There are millions living normal lives there - lives that are very similar to those led by millions of Chinese people in poverty. The society is very isolated. Even rural Mongolia in 1985 had more on the ball with reality than the DPRK does today. It amazes me that so many people can laugh and sing in the parks in a land we are told is filled with brainwashed zombies.

The real disconnect for westerners is the fact that it is Korean - I mean really Korean. This is isolated Korea and the culture is very strong there so things we attribute to a dictatorship are many times culturally Korean. To understand the North you need to understand Chinese history, rural Chinese culture, the Cultural revolution in China, the role of Koreans in China, and Korean history and culture. This place was isolated long before the Cold War. Much of what is seen is really culture. I saw a large sign on a rural road - "We do things the Korean way." and I think that summed it all up. When studying any dictatiorship you have to separate that which is political from that which is cultural. Unlike the USSR and Bulgaria, this society is the most difficult to do that with. It is really not like any other nation or Soviet Bloc nation. Romania comes to mind but I was there twice under Ceaucescu and this still is different.

I think it is changing - slowly. I met a high party official who taught me many things about Korea and he would tell me to observe and tell me what I thought of any changes I saw. Indeed, there is now more food and cash available. Kids were buying ice cream on the streets of Hamhung and at the beach in Wonsan. I think they have a long way to go but I would sneak into a store and I found goods and people buying. In 2008 I did not see that as much.

No one likes the regime but they all remember Kim Jong-il's father and the relative prosperity at that time. I think that is what one of the problems is. They hope a new leadership will be better.

I am no expert on the place - no one is. In this closed society the people on the inside don't know what is going on. How the hell does some journalist in Seoul know what is going on? The guides I traveled with on this trip had never been to some of the places we went. North Korean expert, and oxymoron. I report my observations and take photos. We can observe and try to get a measure of the place but it is not easy. You also have to see it over time to get a sense of the economy.

I will be returning. The place is pristine, beautiful and mysterious. Who can resist?
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Old August 31st, 2010, 12:45 AM   #1618
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I wasnt aware the penal system in Texas was so extreme.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 01:59 AM   #1619
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^ hehehe
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:04 AM   #1620
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saigoneseguy View Post
If you go to Google Earth, you'll see the city if full of slums. Behind every street front building is a slum. Same urban design as Romania, China....

Dude where do you get your information. I don't know much about China but North Korea and Romania have nothing in common. Ceausescu, Romania's dictator in the eighties, did visit NK and thought it was brilliant and wanted to copy their system but we shot him before he could do it.

Romania never did, does not now, and never will look like NK. The majority of Romania's architecture is either traditional or modern, with communist being in the minority and hardly resembling NK. Look at the Palace of the People and the avenue leading to it that Ceausescu did manage to build. Looks nothing like Korea.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1293 Here, go trough any of these threads and look at all Romania and you will see what it really looks like for yourself. And don't tell me about Google earth because one dimensional views from space give only a one dimensional perspective. Look at the pictures posted in full 3D reality where the rest of us live.
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