The most secretive country in the World- DPRK The bicycle country.

The most secretive country in the World- DPRK The bicycle country.

imageThe most secretive country in the World- DPRK

pictures at one drive –!AuwEJ-_opc9zgv1hU8LNSOge0WO3iA

The bicycle country.

-North Korea, the most secretive country on earth with its borders closed to outsiders , as well to almost all insiders to go out. As China opens its market and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the DPRK, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is alone in the arena of  socialism. The cult of personality around the leaders and putting the army in the center of people’s and nation life is comparable to religious movements.

-The  roads are almost empty. Private ownership is low. The local  vehicle industry mostly built  for the army. The per capita ownership is 14 per 1000 people. In South Korea is around 400. Even though sometimes in central Pyongyang there a jam traffic. On the way to Kaesong, near the DMZ zone, I really saw a free way, free of cars. So it is a free cars way. Large, empty, bad asphalt and nostalgic.

-Huge statues  and billboards, painted or in mosaic work, of the former leaders, Kim IL Sung and  Kim Jong IL are all over the country. Visitor and locals go there to pay respect and place flowers. All the homes have a picture of the two leaders. Pilgrimage to the birth places, to the statues, to the mausoleum is sacred  because this is their religion.

– The only way to come in is on a organized tour. We have had tree guides.They give permission to take or not  pictures.The guides illustrate our visit with figures on heights on buildings, waterfalls, weight in copper used  in a the  statues and on how many times the leaders visit the location.

-Pyongyang is a big city with low traffic. Old  trolley buses , official black cars, trams and many bicycles. In every direction , in every city or village there is someone on a bicycle, even at night. That’s why, the bicycle country. The famous Pyongyang traffic girls stand in some intersections, but most have been replaced by traffic lights.

– DPRK people’s political party reinforces the revolution by propaganda on posters, big billboards, and daily on TV, showing communist ideology as well as the actions of the wise leaders from the past and from now. The scale of public spaces are huge like  the red square in Moscow. The party’s propaganda says:”Kim IL Sung will be with us for ever.” “Follow the command of the great People’s Party.”  I have only seen  one commercial propaganda, from a car produced here under a discontinued South Korea joint venture near the main train station.

– The metro stations are magnificent. Chandeliers, paintings of daily life with  revolutionary motives, newspapers on a board and music from the revolution era.

– With around 1.1 million members and 7 million reservists, DPRK military is one the largest forces. First comes China with 2.3m , U.S.A. With 1.4m. India  with 1.3m. Necessary considerate technology  which  USA surpasses all.

-The Juche ideology set out in 1955 states that the people are the master of the country development and a self reliance economy. Not depending from outsiders.And Songun ideology states that the the Army comes first, that’s why the conscription for 3 or 5 years for male and female and the priority on spending on the Army.

– While here the freedom that I use to have as granted was on hold. I always was watched by the guides. Could not leave the hotel boundaries, could not walk alone to anywhere. Could not use the Internet , email, phone for a normal price  but only for a very, very  expensive rate. Could not take pictures from what  I want but what was authorized and could not watch news and gossips from the world. Which for a while was a good thing.

– In General the roads are bad to worst. Of course not close to the many pharaonic museums or large revolutionary sites, but where they are most needed. But as the roads are most used by bicycles and on ox wagons, they seem ok. And So many museums, new museums, renovated museums, large  revolutionary sites, humongous statues  in  bronze of the leaders, all  to reinforce and remember to everyone the revolution cause,  the achievements and as a obvious consequence, the money does not go the people needs.

-In short , without really getting behind the whole situation, the country is isolated , in  financial and supply   crisis and can be compared to ex-URSS and China as they were  around 40 year ago. And in one word: mesmerizing. Where  you go, everywhere you look, it is more of the same. They live in a bubble lie. The doctrines about the wars, the leaders are all twisted in favor of the regime.

-On the other hand, I did not see any township as in South America, South Africa, South East Asia, result of capitalism system. The socialist system did not allow people go so low in poverty, neither in richest, only the elite.

– Back in Beijing, I realize it is the first time in 21 days I can move around without being told so. I find my self on my own again.The phone starts beeping, after connected to Wifi,  with messages and I realize how good  it was to spend time away from phones, email, news. I was reborn. Good feeling. I played to myself , to commemorate , the theme of Mission Impossible, because this was quite a impossible mission.

– While waiting at the Star Alliance lounge on my way to Zhangjiajie to see the mountains were Avatar was filmed, unfortunately my friend were not all there, neither Mrs. Chivas  nor Mrs.Jack Daniels but There was a Cabernet  Sauvignon named  ” Great Wall”. Fantastic.A lady seating next to me ask me If I speak Chinese. I answered: Yes I do, but a little. She replied: Well, Chinese is very interesting. I could’t resist and said: I think so too.

– For your reflection. While I was at the Kuryon Waterfall,  I coin this with Rebecca from the U.K., one of my traveling partners.

– Nature is persistent.

– Man is also persistent.

– Man sometimes give up.

– Therefore, imitate nature.

Everything is a matter of attitude even when  you are at DPRK.

short video – Do you speak english?

M.Hans from Brazil  

Pyongyang -DPRK -North Korea- September 2015

Writer, Speaker, Administrator, Personal and Executive Coach ICI Integrated Coaching Institute.

 Commercial  real estate  developer and  a  Happy professional traveller.

 Past Grand Secretary of Foreign Affairs,Past Master,33,MRA,SEM,Kt.Pr., FRC,Shriner, SRCF VII, TOM. 

See curriculum.


Sobre o Autor

M.Hans administrator

Tudo é uma questão de atitude. Everything is a matter of attitude.