North Korea, Part 3: Pride

5 May

All countries have monuments that commemorate significant events, and Pyongyang is no different. It’s a city that has a lot of pride in the military successes of Kim Il Sung, and there are monuments for seemingly everything.


Arch of Triumph. Built in 1982 to celebrate Kim Il Sung’s resistance against Japanese rule from the 1925 to 1945. Looks like a copycat of some other big arch on the Champs Elysses. This one in Pyongyang is actually the largest triumphal arch in the world.




Victorious Fatherland series of sculptures.


Monument for the Korean Worker’s Party. The three instruments are the hammer, brush, and sickle. Why does it seem like only communist countries use the sickle as a symbol?


Kim Il Sung (left), and the new Kim Jong Il (right) statue.



Kim Il Sung square. Kim Jong Un stood on that balcony right above the portraits to deliver his first public speech. The full military parade of tanks and rocket launchers rolled right down this street the previous day.


There are a few more significant monuments that we have somewhere in our cameras’ memory cards, but there’s not enough time to show them all.


I hope you enjoyed this series on North Korea. It was an extremely fascinating place to go to, and during the few days that Jeannie and I were there we experienced great highs (interacting with local children on the street), really low lows (ice cold showers in a lousy “hotel”, if you can call it that), and some simply bizarre stuff (communist wake-up music and propaganda piped through loudspeakers in the street from 5-6am). I think it’s safe to say that there’s no place in the world like North Korea; it’s the only country in the world that embraces true communism, self-reliance, and unity and purity of race. Would we go back again? Probably not, unless something significantly changes in the country. Seeing how they haven’t made much progress in the last 30 years, once is enough for us.


3 Responses to “North Korea, Part 3: Pride”

  1. msluu May 6, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

    When I look at that last photo, I feel bad that you have to ask strangers to take pictures for you. You should bring a tripod!

    • Jerry May 6, 2012 at 9:28 PM #

      Yeah I was too lazy to straighten it. It’s amazing how quickly people forget how to look through a viewfinder!

  2. Dan Pham May 6, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

    Your story of N.K. remind me of the days when we were in Russia: Tour guide told us when Stalin was in command, he ordered the streets in and around Moscow to be build 6 lanes in each direction and at that time there was no autos in Moscow !!!
    He tried to make Moscow the capital of the world communist (?)

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