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Location - North East Asia; Capital - Pyongyang; Population - 24 million; Currency - North Korean Won MORE NORTH KOREA

Day 4 started with a drive from Kaesong to the tomb of King Kongmin before continuing south to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea - September 2009.


dprknote1The Tower of the Juche Idea appears on the 50 Won note










dprk270The Folk Custom Hotel is a traditional style hotel in Kaesong



dprk274Each 'compound' of the hotel is divided into several rooms - Kaesong





dprk269Part of the traditional style means a mattress on the floor.
I found it comfortable, some didn't! Kaesong















dprk266Food is served at the hotel, Kaesong











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dprk267Electricity is sporadic in many parts of North Korea but Kim Il Sung always shines brightly - Kaesong



dprk275A statue rises above the trees at the tomb of King Kongmin, Kaesong















dprk279King Kongmin, the 31st ruler of the Koryo dynasty, reined in the 14th century and was buried here along with his queen - Kaesong















dprk282Statues of high officials lead up to King Kongmin's tomb - Kaesong



dprk285Granite statue at King Kongmin's tomb, Kaesong



dprk278A military statue at King Kongmin's tomb, Kaesong




















dprk284I love the grins on these stone tigers (or lions, depending on what you read) - King Kongmin's tomb, Kaesong
















dprk281The view from the top of the mausoleum, Kaesong



dprk290Father and sons at King Kongmin's tomb, Kaesong



dprk293So near yet so far. On our way to the Demilitarized Zone we pass a roadsign saying 'Seoul 70km' - Kaesong to Panmunjom















dprk294Our army guide explains the Demilitarized Zone - Panmunjom



dprk295During the Korean War negotiations took place in the Armistice Talks Hall. The final agreement was signed here on 27 July 1953 - Panmunjom



dprk298Next door is the Armistice Agreement Signing Hall, which exhibits photos detailing the war.
The plaque states 'It was here on 27 July 1953 that the Yankee imperialists got down on their knees before the heroic Chosun (Korean) people to sign the ceasfire for the war they had provoked on 25 June 1950' - Panmunjom













dprk300Also in this hall is a copy of the armistice agreement - Panmunjom



















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dprk302Our excellent guide Lim is on the left. I couldn't always understand his English but he was very accommodating with our itinerary suggestions (by North Korean standards!) and had a great sense of humour - Panmunjom



dprk303A wartime photo of Kim Il Sung in the Armistice Agreement Signing Hall, Panmunjom



dprk304And one more.. Panmunjom
















dprk307And Kim Jong Il has somehow sneaked in there, here meeting former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, architect of the 'Sunshine Policy' - Panmunjom




















dprk323The Military Armistice Commission Conference Hall straddles North and South Korea - Panmunjom



dprk309North Korean soldiers outside the Military Armistice Commission Conference Hall in Panmunjom



dprk325Keeping guard outside the hall, Panmunjom
















dprk315The Military Armistice Commission Conference Hall has been used for meetings relating to breaches of the Armistice Agreement - Panmunjom














dprk314North Korean soldiers stand guard in front of the locked door that leads to South Korea - Panmunjom



dprk313North and South Korea share this hall. When tourists from South Korea enter the building the door to North Korea will already be locked - Panmunjom



dprk319Standing in South Korea - Panmunjom















dprk320The microphone cable crossing the table symbolises the Military Demarcation Line - Panmunjom















dprk329It's back to Kaesong for a beautifully arranged lunch comprised of, amongst many others, seaweed, egg, kimchi (pickled cabbage in chilli), bamboo shoots and honey cooked rice (lovely!) - Tongil restaurant, Kaesong



dprk330Boiling my soup to perfection. There may still be poverty in North Korea but the regime make sure foreigners don't go without. After all they have to keep up appearances - Kaesong



dprk328Kaesong was the former capital of Korea during the Koryo dynasty, and is also the centre of it's ginseng production















dprk333Standing beneath another Kim Il Sung statue - Kaesong
















dprk335The Great Leader Kim Il Sung watches over Kaesong



dprk341Local men relaxing in Kaesong



dprk342Walk to a rocky outcrop close to the Kim Il Sung statue for views over Kaesong















dprk344When Korea was divided along the 38th parallel after World War II Kaesong found itself in South Korea.
Following the Korean War it crossed to the North.















dprk345The Children's Palace, top left, and the old quarter of Kaesong



dprk349Life in the streets of Kaesong's old quarter



dprk352Maize on the roof of a Kaesong home. There was a bit of squash around aswell.















dprk353Chillis dry out on in a car park - Kaesong to Pyongyang



dprk354A deserted Reunification Highway links Kaesong to Pyongyang



dprk357A lot more traffic gathers just close to Pyongyang
















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LINKS - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my tour with. For me it offered the best itinerary and was flexible enough to cater for travelling by train to Pyongyang. The group size, at 23, was rather large however (but a great bunch of people!) - Koryo Tours is the market leader - plenty of independent news stories and analysis of North Korea - news portal on behalf of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (ie. North Korea) - news from the 'Korean Central News Agency' - definitely not an official DPRK site - the Random Insult Generator

Other tour agencies - - USA/Dandong, China - USA - Netherlands - UK - Germany - USA - Hong Kong - UK - Singapore - Netherlands - China


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.


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