Today was my first full day in Pyongyang and this Scenic Wonder of Korea really didn’t disappoint. Seriously though, it is one of the Eight Scenic Wonders of Korea due to it’s “splendid” vistas.
I ventured out into Pyongyang early in the morning accompanied by my guide. Today I was visiting Mansu Hill Grand Monument, an area various sculptures and statues dedicated to the “immortal” history of the splendid nation of North Korea, and in particular President Kim Il Sung.
It is quite bizarre to be in Pyongyang, there is no one here, and every time we visit a restaurant it seems to be set up to appear as if it is busy.
I don’t think they realise that we actually see through the facade they are attempting to put up to conceal what North Korea is truly like. I wish we were able to actually see and socialize with normal citizens of North Korea.
Something I noticed:
I noticed that the above statue is incredibly similar to one that I saw in China.
Throughout my trip I have been reading a book titled The Orphan Master’s Son, an intriguing tale of life within the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In one particularly noteworthy part, a loudspeaker announcement is made which discusses various enlightening (and somewhat humorous), pieces of propaganda and news. Supposedly, Kim Jong-Il had doves spontaneously flock above him in order to provide him with some “much needed” shade. This absurd suggestion captures his god-like status presented by the DPRK’s media, as the doves are symbolic of peace and unity which elevate his superior status which is furthered when he offers on the spot guidance to engineers digging the Taedong River Channel. Obviously he is not qualified to give engineering advice, but the fact that the people earnestly take it reveals his superior status.
This book really presents a view of North Korea being a country of propaganda and lies, which quite ironically the government says that others are spreading as they themselves are lying. The language used by the government in the book presents them as being truthful, and oddly happy about somewhat morbid events, such as eating sharks.
In this book Kim Jong-Il is presented as being quite a paternal and god-like figure to his people, and so far I am yet to experience something like this with Kim Jong-Un.
I have to sign off now, I am exhausted after a long day of travelling and discovery here in North Korea.