Monday, April 27, 2009
Pictures from North Korea
So, after many, many hours of work I’ve finally browsed through all my DPRK photos and selected a few to post here. Enjoy.
The Arch of Triumph, built to commemorate the Korean resistance to Japan from 1925 to 1945. This thing is huge, just compare its size to the car.
Since everything was arranged, we were picked up at the airport by this bus. A little too large for just 11 people (including the guides and the driver), so we got a smaller one the next day.
There was a lot of talk about the North Korean rocket launch and the satellite that might or might not be in space right now. But here’s a picture of what it might look like.
Construction of the Pyongyang two line metro started back in 1968 and today it moves around 700,000 people around each day.
The two subway stations we visited were both full of art, mostly mosaics like this one.
Light conditions on the metro was challenging and there was no way that my external flash would help, but this image turned out quite OK.
Yes, it’s another one of those subway pictures I’m always taking.
Another mosaic at what I believe was the Puhung Station, but you should not quote me on that one.
I’m not sure of the name of this station either, but it might have been Yonggwang. Note to self: remember to bring a note book the next time.
‘Motivational posters’ like this one is scattered all over the DPRK capital. This one was found by the stairs to the Yonggwang metro station.
Workers Party of Korea Monument. Kim Il-sung didn’t mind the intellectuals and they are represented by a hand holding a pencil in the middle of the monument.
Buildings by the Workers Party of Korea Monument.
Ryugyŏng Hotel. Back in 1987 Kim Il-sung decided that the people of DPRK should go ahead and build the tallest hotel in the world. Unfortunately, construction ceased in 1992 due to the government’s financial difficulties. The unfinished hotel remained untouched until April 2008 when construction began again.
Kim Il-sung was born on the 15th of April 1912 and even though the died in 1994, the people of North Korea are still celebrating this birthday and probably will continue to do that for a very, very long time. One way to celebrate is by dancing.
I decided I liked the colors and motion blur in this picture.
I shot at least 50 picture with my budget Sigma zoom lens. The problem is that it requires broad daylight to take crips pictures without a tripod, so this was a very lucky shot.
Kids playing basketball, not something I expected to see inside the DPRK.
Everywhere in Pyongyang we saw trees with flowers. Even though they were all dropping their flowers, we didn’t see many on the streets. The reason? At least one person was always cleaning the streets close to the trees.
A 50 meter tall statue of Kim Il-sung with a monstrous mosaic in the background. The North Koreans love their mosaics.
If I remember correctly, this is one of the many, many monuments built to celebrate that the Koreans finally threw out the Japanese in 1925.
It was very popular to get married on the 15th of April. Here are one of the many happy couples we saw. The picture is of course taken with their permission, they even asked us to have their picture taken.
On 23 January 1968, the USS Pueblo was capture outside the DPRK coast. The ship is still held by the DPRK today and used to promote anti-Americanism.
Tombs of Kings Kongmin and Wanggon, located west of Kaesong City.
In the Kaesong Folk Hotel in Kaesong we were served a meal the traditional Korean way.
One of the 19 traditional hanok courtyard houses at Kaesong Folk Hotel.
The city of Kaesong was the only important North Korean city that was not bombed back to the stone age during the Korean war. The reason is that it belonged to South Korea at the time.
Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il. Not surprisingly this is a picture of a picture.
We have negotiated peace inside the DMZ and everyone is happy.
Inside the DMZ. The South Korean border goes straight through the houses (you can see the divider).
The Juche Tower. Standing 170 meters tall, it provides a great view of Pyongyang.
Traffic Lady. Even though Pyongyang might not have that many cars, they have traffic lights. But since electricity is somewhat hard to come by, they have turned them off and placed a ‘traffic lady’ (they were actually called that by our guides) in every intersection.
A panorama covering a small part of Pyongyang.
A 360 degree panorama taken from the Juche Tower. To get a better view, you should save the image to your computer and zoom in a little. The bridge to the left is not destroyed by the way, it just turned out that way because I didn’t take enough pictures.