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

We returned to Pyongyang for an afternoon at a school, and day 5 began at the film studios followed by the capital's war museum - September 2009.


dprknote8100 North Korean Won











dprk358A reunified Korea is held aloft in the Monument to the Three-Point Charter of National Reunification, Pyongyang. What a mouthful.



dprk360The three-point charter refers to the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and national unity - Pyongyang




dprk359Monument to the Three-Point Charter of National Reunification, Pyongyang
















dprk361The streets of Pyongyang
















dprk365A traffic girl directs traffic in Pyongyang $600 Bonus


dprk376Children at June 9 Taedong Middle School No. 1 put on a performance - Pyongyang















dprk377Perfect pupils at the perfect school are provided for foreign consumption. These are the privileged ones - Pyongyang















dprk379And I have to say, besides some truly ear-piercing singing, they were very good - Pyongyang



dprk380Hats off to the drummer and guitarist, probably the most talented - Pyongyang




dprk366The Great and Dear Leaders work their magic again,June 9 Taedong Middle School No. 1 - Pyongyang
















dprk367A 2012 poster at the school, Pyongyang




















dprk371A classroom wall bearing the Great Leader Kim Il Sung on the left, and Dear Leader Kim Jong Il (also known as the Great Leader (?!) since his father's death) on the right - Pyongyang



dprk372It would be nice to know what this says, though I'm sure it's quite predictable - Pyongyang



dprk373A painting depicting the Kims at the top of Mt Paektu (on the Chinese border) - Pyongyang
















dprk415Pyongyang Film Studios make an interesting tour. Kim Jong Il loves his films and is said to have a collection of over 20,000. Can Friday 13th really be one of his favourites? Pyongyang


dprk414The film studios are...oh not another one... Pyongyang




dprk424Some of our group dress up in various Korean costumes. Alas no blockbuster film was made - Pyongyang















dprk421North Koreans join in the merriment - Pyongyang Film Studios















dprk427Mockup Street consists of film sets for 1930's Japan & China, and South Korea - Pyongyang Film Studios. In a disputed story, South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and his actress wife Choi Eun-hee were kidnapped in 1978 in an effort to advance the North Korean film industry.



dprk429Most North Korean films revolve around the fight against Japanese occupation and the Korean war - Pyongyang



dprk431Another angle on the Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang















dprk456The closest we got to the Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang


















dprk433The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is North Korea's name for the Korean War - Pyongyang



dprk435 Everyone but North Korea concluded that Kim Il Sung invaded South Korea, with Stalin's approval, in 1950 and precipitated the Korean war. The 1953 armistice was hailed by Kim Il Sung as a glorious victory. The Cold War had a lot to answer for - Pyongyang


















dprk437The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Pyongyang



dprk436Photgraphs from the Korean War, aka the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War - Pyongyang



dprk439Schoolchildren listening to the North Korean version of the war - Pyongyang















dprk444Captured American weaponry - War Museum, Pyongyang
















dprk446An American plane shot down by North Korea - Pyongyang



dprk448An American helicopter was gunned down and the pilot captured in 1994 for encroaching on North Korean airspace - Pyongyang



dprk450Kim Il Sung discusses the war - Pyongyang















dprk451On the top floor is a 360° rotating diorama - Pyongyang















dprk458Pictures of the Great and Dear Leader displayed on a roadarch. To the left is a painting of Kim Il Sung, and behind is another painting of the Great Leader, 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


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