"Here is the locked ward of the political asylum, the place where politics has actually become an official state religion, and power is worshipped, directly and literally, in the form of a colossal bronze idol to which the people come and bow with every sign of reverence. Nothing in the modern world compares with North Korea, though it gives us some clue about how life must have been under the pharaohs, in Imperial Japan before Hiroshima, or in the obliterated years - conveniently erased from memory by blushing fellow travelers - when Josef Stalin was revered as a human god."
Prisoners in Camp Kim, by Peter Hitchens, The American Conservative.
Map of central Pyongyang provided by Don Parrish
Admittedly I have a somewhat strange interest in North Korea, and have maintained that for quite some time now, in that I constantly wonder how an entire nation, built on misinformation, fear, corruption and deceit, will survive when it eventually collapses. I only wish that the collapse happens in the very near future, to spare the continuing impact the dictatorship has on its population. Here are some satelite pictures, as well as other resources below.
The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel. The tallest structure in the country, and, if completed, would have been the seventh largest building in the world, construction began in 1987 but was never completed, probably due to exorbitantly high costs. It will probably never open.
Statue of Kim Il-Sung, with the Korean Revolution Museum behind.
Let's go skating! Ice rink.
May Day Stadium (Rungnado May First Stadium), the largest multi-purpose stadium in Asia and also the largest in the world, home to the Arirang Festival (mass games) and not much more. Can seat up to 150,000.
Yanggakdo Football Stadium. Apparently holds 30,000 people and was opened in 1989. Considerably more decrepit.
Across the river from the grand bronze statue of Kim Il-Sung, the Monument for the Party Founding, erected in 1995, is about 50m tall and consists of three structures each of a hammer, sickle and writing brush, which represent the worker, the peasant and the intellectual. See actual photo.
To the right: Monument to Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.
The 150-meter Tower of the Juche Idea was erected on April 15, 1982, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. The body of the tower is faced with 70 granite slabs, one for each year of Kim Il-sung's life up to that time. See actual photo.
Built in 1982 on the Triumph Return Square, it is the largest arch in the world, standing 60m high and 50m wide, and was deliberately built to be larger than the one in Paris.
Kim Il-Sung stadium, with a capacity of 70,000 and mainly used for soccer matches.
Kim Il-Sung Square.
Welcome to North Korea, a 53-minute-long documentary by Dutch filmmaker Peter Tetteroo and Raymond Feddema
A BBC Radio 3 documentary about Italian pizza chef Ermanno Furlanis who is recruited to teach North Koreans how to make pizza for Kim Jong-il. First broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Between the Ears in February of 2005, this version was unearthed from Third Coast International's re:sound recording (link). An expanded written version is available here, from Asia Times.
Colin Marshall talks to Brian Reynolds Myers, contributing editor to the Atlantic and professor of international studies at Dongseo University in Busan, South Korea. Myers argues that the nationalistic nature of North Korea leads to surprising perception differences internally and globally around North Korea.An American in North Korea (a CBS news segment on Joe Dresnok, an American defector currently in North Korea): Click to view
|1948||September 9: Formal declaration of the formation of the Democratic People' Republic of Korea (DPRK).|
|1950||June 25: Beginning of the Korean War as North invades the South. It would take only two days for the North to reach Seoul.|
|1969||April 15: Navy EC-121 reconnaissance plane shot down over North Korea, killing all 31 aboard.|
|1993||May 29/30: Nodong-1 missile fired into the Sea of Japan, with the goal of trading these with Iran in exchange for oil.|
|1994||July 8: Death of Kim Il-sung at age 82. His eldest son, Kim Jong-il, takes over.
|October 21: Agreed Framework signed between North Korea and the United States. Stipulated the replacement of nuclear reactors with light water plants, and made a move towards normalizing political and economic relations.|
|1996||September 17: A North Korean Sang-O class submarine runs aground near Gangenung, South Korea, with 26 infiltrators aboard. The submarine was salvaged, and while 1 escaped and another 1 was captured, the remaining 25 either committed suicide or were killed in the 49-day manhunt that followed news of their operation.|
|1998||August 31: Two-stage Taepodong 1 ballistic missile launched under the ruse of a Kwangmyongsong-1 satellite launch. Flies over Japan.|
|2003||January 10: North Korea withdraws from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.|
|2006||July 4/July 5 in DPRK: Taepodong-2 missile launched, fails after 42 seconds. 6 other short-range missiles launched as well, all land in the Sea of Japan.|
|October 9: North Korea runs its first nuclear test somewhere close to 385 km NE of Pyongyang, with a suspected size of less than 1 kiloton.|
|2008||June 27: North Korea destroys a cooling tower at the Yongbyon atomic reactor amid fanfare.
|2009||April 5: Launch of Taepodong-2 missile, claimed to be Kwangmyongsong-2, a communications satellite. The payload flies over Japan and lands in the Pacific Ocean.|
|May 25: Second nuclear test near the location of the first test. Size is estimated to be between 10 and 20 kilotons.|
|August 5: Euna Lee and Laura Ling, correspondents and reporters for Current TV, are released from detainment in North Korea after 140 days. They had allegedly illegally crossed the border while covering a story.|