작성일 : 17-03-12 05:57
2nd Gen. Korean-American Shares Photos from the DPRK
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Editor's Note: These pictures were sent in by a 2nd generation Korean American from Los Angeles who visited the DPRK in 2014, and has added a caption to each picture. In his words, "After being born and raised in the United States and hating North Korea most of my life, I finally saw the truth of American foreign policy around the world and came to see that virtually all the negative press about North Korea was false. It was at this moment I decided to visit the country for myself to connect with the other half of my people. I hope these pictures will help other Korean Americans see that the people in the north are just like us, that we speak the same language, eat the same foods, have the same history, the same culture, and that really, we are all one large family. I hope to see the day when Korea becomes one again and that our homeland can be united as one once more."
Upon landing in Beijing and meeting my travel agent, I received my visa to visit the DPRK. It was at this moment when I started to get really excited to visit Pyongyang.
After being picked up from the airport, my tour guides brought me to the Arch of Triumph. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a shot of the whole thing since it was so tall!
After the Arch of Triumph, we drove to get dinner, and this was one of the buildings we passed by.
Outside the restaurant we stopped at for dinner, I finally stood on the ground in central Pyongyang. I stood there just watching the people walk by and go about their business. It was quite a surreal experience to grow up fearing and hating the north, and ultimately to become a supporter, and ultimately standing in the middle of Pyongyang, watching the people of the city.
My first meal in Pyongyang consisted of a delicious duck BBQ and soju! A great meal to make me feel welcome in Pyongyang!
I'd had Makkoli (rice wine) and Soju in the U.S. and South Korea many times, but when I saw this bottle for sale in the shop in the lobby of the Yanggakdo Hotel, I knew I had to try it! My judgement on DPRK Makkoli? It was good!
A view of Pyongyang and the Taedong River.
The Grand People's Study House!
Walking towards the Mansudae Monuments, I passed by these two young men who appeared to be studying. I looked at them enviously for a moment, thinking how nice it would be to be able to study and relax in such a clean and green city.
We got to the Mansudae Grand Monument, where I paid my respects to the Eternal President Kim Il Sung, and Eternal Leader & General Secretary Kim Jong Il.
At the Grand People's Study House, I noticed this book they had about the NBA. Seeing that the even had their own book where they mentioned such amazing NBA athletes like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird really shocked me! I knew that of course the media reports that said North Koreans were completely unaware of the outside world were false, as in, I knew they still had an understanding of what was going on in the world and in other countries, but never did I think they'd actually learn about NBA stars!
Having a coffee break with my tour guides in Pyongyang.
Just another shot while we were driving in Pyongyang. I noticed a barber shop also!
Another nice meal in Pyongyang.
Of course, what is Pyongyang famous for? Cold noodles (neng-myeon)! Though I'm not a cold noodle expert, the noodles were good. The tour bus driver muttered something about how the noodles were "so-so". I then found out that the best place to get cold noodles was at a different restaurant, so the next time I visit I will make sure to try the best cold noodles in Pyongyang!
Yes, there is traffic in Pyongyang! And yes, that is a Mercedes Benz, although I think it was the only one I saw during my entire trip. Maybe belonging to a foreign diplomat?
My guides took me bowling, where we played a few games and had a nice break from driving around and being out all day. I saw many families there also playing together.
Just another random building in Pyongyang that I thought was interesting. It was directly across the street from a bar we were about to drink and relax at.
We relaxed at a bar with some delicious draft beer and some dried fish. My guides and I spent quite a bit of time just talking here and learning about each other. It was a great experience.
As the sun was beginning to set in Pyongyang late in the afternoon, I thought it was a beautiful sight. Beautiful buildings, beautiful nature, beautiful people. This is DPRK!
We also went to the amusement park, where I got to ride this with several young North Korean university students, two female, and one male. It was such a great experience to ride with them, and to hear how they spoke to each other, I could have been just listening in on conversations between young Korean friends in South Korea or the USA. Once again, it made me realize how we are the same people, and that our division must be brought to an end.
The bumper car rides at the amusement park. I considered riding them, but didn't feel like waiting, and went to the next ride instead. But still, bumper cars!
This was an arcade located at the amusement park. It was mostly young boys who were playing in there. Driving games and shooting games seemed popular.
This is my guide, Comrade Hyon at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. It was here where I was able to pay my respect in person to the founder of the DPRK Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il. Seeing them before my eyes, and knowing what I had felt and thought of them throughout my whole life, only to discover the truth about them, and to finally bring me all the way to the mausoleum in Pyongyang... it was a very emotional experience for me, and I would be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears. Comrade Hyon was with me the entire time, and we also got to learn more about each other and discuss world events like the crisis in Syria.
My first glimpse of a taxi in Pyongyang.
Some items for sale at a shop in Pyongyang.
Comrade Hyon doing some target practice. He was a sniper in the KPA.
Pyongyang is modern yet also so green! Beautiful!
I took this shot of the menu at a bar in Pyongyang. The menu was quite diverse as it sold Korean food, but also pasta and even simply bread.
Enjoying a beer. The lady in the back is one of the staff at the bar.
Hot Pot for dinner.
The Arch of Reunification. A beautiful monument!
On my last night in Pyongyang, we had pizza, wine, and kimchi!
At the pizza restaurant, this woman sang beautifully for us in several languages, including Korean, English, Russian, and Chinese. What did she sing in English? Oh, just Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On".
I went to a supermarket in Pyongyang and bought some rice cakes. Final verdict? Delicious!
Alas, it was time to leave. This was a shot from Pyongyang airport. Of course, since this was in 2014, this was before the new airport opened. I can't wait to visit again and see the new airport!