Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea
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To most of the world, North Korea remains a secretive and mysterious nation, one that has tightly controlled the outflow of information in order to groom its public image. This book chronicles a rare, regime-sanctioned excursion by a North American into the heart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. What is revealed is often what's expected, such as the adoration of leaders, excursions to national monuments, and exposure to propaganda relating to self-sufficiency. But as a Korean speaker, the author gathered a lot more information than the scripted English narration provided by his Korean guides. Behind the propaganda of the Communist regime, the authentic, eye-opening North Korea is revealed.
they desire a copy ... and if any such Bible would be bowdlerized. I didn’t think of those questions at the time. At the time, I sat in silent awe as we passed. I was looking at the Pongsu Church. It had been built in the late 1980s in apparent anticipation of the ﬂood of foreign guests attending the 1989 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. The assumption is that North Korea wanted to demonstrate to the world that Christianity was free to exist in the Worker’s Paradise despite what we
I glanced down at Mr. Kim the Elder’s lapel pin and for the ﬁrst time was able to get a close look. The lapel pin and portrait in the carriage were identical representations of Kim Il Sung. They featured the same beatiﬁc expression on the same prudent-yet-compassionate face. The tiny eyes Arrival and Day One 63 on the lapel pin, like the eyes in the portrait at the end of the carriage, were moving as they watched me. Maybe the entire Pyongyang metro system is actually a farce, maybe it is
watch megawatts of power get pumped through countless spotlights, on a night when just a couple hundred kids in the card brigade could have thrown each other off and completely ruined their magniﬁcent mosaic illustrations, nothing had gone wrong. Things were so meticulously carried out that even the slightest error would have been obvious for the entire stadium to see. Then, just as I was realizing how ﬂawless the performance had been, one young boy, among thousands of young boys who were decked
clearly a planned city and other than the steady ﬂow of new monuments to the regime, the people on the planning committee hadn’t come up with any new ideas in a decade. It was expansive, clean, and free from the visual confusion of advertising. Contrary to all of the reports about how intimidating and frightening the city was supposed to be, Pyongyang was thoroughly inviting in its simplicity. Long straight boulevards with ample sidewalks and intentionally spaced trees appealed to a desire for
our consumption of reﬁned cane sugar and trans fatty acids and we ﬁnd it acceptable to wolf down massive quantities of genetically modiﬁed junk food dripping with chemical preservatives designed to extend shelf life beyond the far end of the standard actuarial tables, and we sit and watch giant screen television while the plaque on our artery walls thickens and congeals, and super sizing our fast food has forced us to super size our wardrobes ... but wisely we don’t smoke. Mr. Kim exhaled a