Vài hình ảnh Bắc Triều Tiên Quân Chủ XHCN
(của đàn cừu Panurges)
Korean Children’s Union
When North Korean children turn 7, they become indoctrinated into the North Korean Children’s Union. In a huge ceremony, the children are given red scarves, which are tied around their shoulders by retired military personnel and then make a pledge to their Supreme Leader.
This is one of the areas that tourists are actually allowed to visit. You can see that it is kept immaculately clean, not a blade of grass out of place. And yet, there are some locals thoroughly cleaning it. In case they were to miss a spot, a North Korean soldier stands guard to make sure they are doing their job correctly. There is also a young boy with them, who looks stone faced and a quite dirty.
We’ve mentioned that this is a Socialist regime, and this doesn’t change when it comes to your own person style. North Korea has a specified list of hairstyles for both men and women that one can choose from. You must keep your hair styled in one of the regulated options at all times. There are 28 styles in total for men and women. Men must keep their hair shorter than 5cm (about 2 inches), but elderly men are allowed 7cm.
They Hate the USA
Ever since the Korean war, when America sided with South Korea, the North Koreans have had a massive, unadulterated hatred of America and its citizens. This notion is strongly encouraged by the regime, as shown by the countless museums, billboards, lessons, and all around brainwashing shown to North Korean citizens. From a very young age, they are told about how the Americans came in and did unspeakable war crimes to the people of North Korea, and so their hatred is brewed and fanned.
These local North Korean women are preparing to celebrate their country’s founding. On September 9th 1948, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was officially recognized as a real country. National Day (sometimes called Republic Day) is one of the most important holidays in North Korea, along with the birthdays of the Supreme Leaders (Day of the Shining Star and Day of the Sun). This holiday is celebrated with music and dance performances, artistic shows, exhibitions, and sporting events.
Such Vivid Contrast
Pictured here, you can see where North Korea and China are separated by the Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge. The contrast is unbelievably apparent. Of course, on the left, you see the underdeveloped country of North Korea, which looks especially sad next to its highly impressive, built up neighbor. Any and all trade that goes on between the two countries happens here. Many defectors try and escape via this route, and are often caught and thrown into concentration camps.
Housing for the Masses
This massive structure is quite typical on North Korean apartment buildings in their capital city. As depressing at it looks, the people living here are actually the lucky ones, as they do not face the abhorrent conditions of living in the countryside. It is apparent how unmaintained the building is, so one can only imagine how it looks inside. There is rumor that the construction workers are pumped with methamphetimines to build something like this with more speed.
The Road Ends Here
This is not such an unusual sight in a place like North Korea. Along the miles of farmland, shanty construction and unfinished roads can be seen. As the vast majority of the country does not have cars, these unfinished roads do not get in the way of farming. Most likely the country, which is unbelievably poor, despite what the regime wants you to think, ran out of money for the road and simply stopped building it.
A City of Sadness
This picture is very much forbidden, as the photographer took a huge risk taking it. From the train, you can see more very sad looking buildings (which are most likely to be completely empty), along with a row of shacks. There are people walking on the street, possibly to or from work (if they are employed at all). You can see that the infrastructure has not been maintained for years, and is dirty and falling apart.
These children might look young, but you can bet that their performance is going to be absolutely flawless. Children begin learning to perfect performances in music, dance, art, and more at an extremely young age (some as young as 2 years old). They have militant training in all of these subjects, and can be punished if they are not perfect. The point of all this? To perform for their Supreme Leader and to show foreigners how perfect North Korea’s children are.
A Shiny Outward Appearance
This is a man street in the city of Pyongyang. It almost looks like a normal big city that you would find all over the map. These buildings look maintained and new, as if they’d just recently gotten a fresh coat of paint. It is now known (thanks to defectors who managed to smuggle pictures with them) that the outer appearances of the buildings are maintained for aesthetic reasons, but on the inside, where tourists are not allowed, show the truth.
The Supreme Leaders
This is a common site to see in North Korea’s big city. On most buildings (homes, offices, government buildings, etc.) you will find some sort of reverence to the Supreme Leaders of the North Korean regime. This is all part of the brainwashing propaganda set down by the leaders of the country. People are lead to believe that the leaders have a “godly” status, and should there for be revered at all times, no matter where you are.
Paying Homage to Their Supreme “Gods”
Statues and tributes to the Supreme Leaders can be seen all throughout North Korea. During ceremonies and occasions (such as the birthday and death anniversary of Kim Jong-il, or any national holiday) North Koreans are required to go and pay respects to their leaders, any absence is a punishable offense. Many North Koreans have been so brainwashed that they actually get quite emotional at these tributes, and can be seen bowing, crying, and shaking.
Hardly a Vehicle in Sight
You will probably notice that in North Korea, there are hardly any transportation vehicles on the roads. Most local people cannot even come close to affording a car, and most likely they would be denied a driver’s license regardless. However, there is another reason: local people must have a permit to travel within the country. That’s right. They are under no circumstances allowed to leave the country, but they also must have written permission to travel within it.
Since tourism is so hyper-managed in North Korea, there are even specific routes that foreign tours are taken on. These routes are carefully maintained by the residents of the area, to an obsessive level. These street cleaners clean an absolutely spotless area to make sure that tourists know how immaculately clean the country is, as well as to show that everyone is employed and busy. These cleaners (and other residents) are never smiling, they are simply obeying.
Three Tall Statues
It seems to be an ongoing theme here that the idols of the Supreme Leaders are of much more importance to the North Korean regime than its inhabitants. From a distance, you can see three statues of people towering over the city square. These statues are of first Supreme Leader Kim Il-sung, his late son, Kim Jong-il, and his wife Kim Jong-Suk.
A Missing Floor
In the only hotel that tourists are allowed to stay in, there is a working elevator. However, if you look at the buttons, you’ll see that the fifth floor is missing. You have to take the stairs to get to the floor. It is off-limits to tourists, but you do manage to get a sneak peek, you’ll end up seeing a whole bunch of propaganda posters. This is most likely used to spy on the foreign hotel guests.
A Special Privilege
In the city of Pyongyang, the residents are the lucky ones. These privileged people get to live in actual homes and have actual jobs. They even get to ride on their one-line subway to get to and from these jobs. To tell them apart from the people living in the desolately poor countryside (which isn’t very difficult, if you ask us) they wear a special red badge with, you guessed it, the Supreme Leaders faces on it.
Aside from the effigies of the Supreme Leaders all over the place, there is also socialist propaganda, mostly in the form of murals, in every corner of the country. Unlike the faces of the actual real-live people living in the country, the people painted in these murals are smiling and happy living as a socialist regime. There is also a lot of war and victory propaganda, as North Korea is made to believe that it was victorious in the Korean War.
The majority of North Korea is desolately poor, so it comes as no surprise that there is no solid public transportation set up for them, especially in rural areas. Since the roads are so poorly maintained (as in, they are not maintained at all), there are no safe paths for large buses to travel outside of the city. This is an example of a makeshift “bus” that packs in way too many people trying to get to work.
This is North Korea’s second-largest city, Hamhung. It is quite impoverished, and falling apart. There are not many roads, but the ones that do exist are falling apart and full of potholes and cracks. Many poor looking people can be seen carrying sacks and walking up and down dirt roads. Most do not even own a bicycle. Here a woman and what seems to be an underage child can be seen carrying heavy sacks and walking down a dirt path.
The Lone Hotel
The Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, is the only hotel that foreigners are allowed to stay in in the entire country of North Korea. It is located, conveniently, on a island, so guests do not have the opportunity to leave and roam freely around without a designated tour guide. All of the windows are front facing, and have a view of the best looking parts of Pyongyang. The rooms here are speculated to be bugged; hardly surprising from a country like this.
Taking pictures of military personnel is totally and completely forbidden to tourists. But the soldiers seem to be absolutely everywhere. It seems that many of the men (and lots of women too) of the country are drafted into the North Korean military. Seeing as there is no current war in North Korea, we are not sure why there must be such a high military presence…unless it’s to keep the people aware that they are under constant watch.
One of the first things we learn as children is not to go in the street. It’s a pretty good lesson, as there are many cars on the road that could hit you. However, in North Korea, things are very different. Because most people do not own cars, and even public transportation is scarce, there are almost no cars on the roads. Children can often be found playing in the middle of the street, as there is almost no apparent danger in doing so.
Unsafe ConstructionIf you’re heart dropped when you got to this picture, don’t worry, we are right there with you. It might not come as a surprise that there are basically zero safety standards for construction projects. Here you can see that the poorly constructed scaffolds are tied to weak looking ropes, which could break at any moment. Even the men climbing the ropes are not secured with even a carabiner. You can probably guess that there also is no workers’ compensation in a place like this.
A Black Screen
Ah, so the people of North Korea DO have access to computers, it might not be so bad after all. But wait…there doesn’t seem to be any electricity with which to actually turn the computer on. This, once again, is yet another facade put on by the leadership of North Korea to convince the rest of the world that they are doing just fine. Most likely, this was taken by a tourist, who was supposed to see that people were using computers. However, he was not supposed to see the screen.
Obviously the people of North Korea do not have the option of calling “AAA” when their vehicle breaks down. Instead, everyone inside of it must get out and push. The vehicles in this country are poorly maintained (if at all), and the pothole littered roads do not help the situation. Of course, a photo like this is totally illegal to take, since it shows just how dismal the transportation conditions are for even the military.
North Korean Sea World
Of all the unnecessary things to have, this might take the cake. North Korea has its own type of Sea World, called Delphinium. However, it seems as though the majority of the civilians living in the country cannot afford to go, or maybe they aren’t allowed in at all. The audience is made up of mostly military personnel, with a few lucky members of the elite who get to enjoy the show. This seems like an odd thing to spend money on when most of the people do not have anything to eat.
In contrast to the focused and strict education received by the children living in the city, children living in rural areas are uneducated and desolately poor. From the moment they can walk, these children begin to help their parents with whatever field work they need. Although it is illegal to photograph, a few brave tourists managed to capture the harsh reality of children as young as 2 or 3, working in very poor conditions, just so they can have something to eat.
You might be wondering why the people of North Korea do not speak up against the regime to try. and regain their freedom. The answer: internment camps. The punishment for any sort of rule breaking, no matter how small, is a horrifying stint in the Gulag, a North Korean death camp mirroring those of the Nazi’s in World War II. Anyone accused will be sentenced, along with 3 generations of his family, even if they are innocent. The abuses committed here to prisoners are unspeakable.
For the privileged elite of Pyongyang, there are things to do for entertainment, other than praise the Supreme Leaders. This is the Central Zoo, where North Korean can go to see live animal exhibits, ride camels, and even go to a natural history museum full of exhibits with dinosaurs and other extinct creatures. There is even a section with a petting zoo where visitors can pet donkeys. This place seems to tip the scale a little bit in terms of the country’s treatment of its citizens.
Rights for Women
This one might take you by surprise, but North Korea is essentially equal for men and women. In terms of jobs, military service, marriage/divorce right, and property ownership, there is no significant difference between the two sexes. North Korea has also made polygamy illegal, so that a man and a woman are equal in a relationship. You can even find many women in very high positions of power, although many of them are related to high ranking officials themselves.
Keeping with the trend of trying to be different from everyone else on the planet, North Korea has its own calendar called the Juche Calendar. The Juche Calendar actually starts with the birthday of the Supreme Leader and founder of the DRNK, Kim Il-Sung. The calendar technically starts in the year of 1912, the birth year of Kim Il-Sung, but was adopted for nation-wide use on 8 July 1997, which was the Leader’s third death anniversary. There are no “Juche” years before 1912, so they switch to the Gregorian Calendar for their history