Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea
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To most of the world, North Korea remains a secretive and mysterious nation, one that has tightly controlled the outflow of information in order to groom its public image. This book chronicles a rare, regime-sanctioned excursion by a North American into the heart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. What is revealed is often what's expected, such as the adoration of leaders, excursions to national monuments, and exposure to propaganda relating to self-sufficiency. But as a Korean speaker, the author gathered a lot more information than the scripted English narration provided by his Korean guides. Behind the propaganda of the Communist regime, the authentic, eye-opening North Korea is revealed.
the innumerable Japanese engineering mistakes, truncated the log frames and Gantt charts, and with nothing more than a gaggle of happy Koreans and some spades, accomplished the engineering marvel in a mere 55 days. As soon as the happy peasants wrapped up work on the Potong River Improvement Project they concurred that some sort of monument was required, so they decided that on top of the nearby Ponghwa Hill; The Monument to the Potong River Improvement Project should be erected. For twenty-ﬁve
attracting hard currency. Though we passed too quickly to make it out at the time, later I read news reports that a South Korean 50 THREE DAYS IN THE HERMIT KINGDOM group had donated millions of dollars for the expansion of the Pongsu Church sanctuary. The scaffolding may have been due to that expansion. It would be interesting to discover where the anticipated new parishioners will come from. The Ryug yong Hotel appeared and disappeared behind buildings and trees and as we drew closer it
South of the border there would have been ubiquitous mobile street restaurants known in the local language as pojangmacha, or “covered horse carts,” already out selling their food and drink to customers perched on stools. There would have been a visual cacophony of advertising anywhere the eye paused with innumerable backlit signs plastered across the exterior walls of buildings. The visual landscape would have been busy with ﬂashing neon and rotating banners and everything would have been
Humanity. After a lifetime of longing for the honor, we had gazed on his loving countenance with our own unworthy eyes. What additional point on the itinerary could compare? The rest of the trip was to be a steady downhill slide. We paused at the ﬁnal stop on the circuit — a large room in which foreigners were provided hand-held devices with which to listen to a translated presentation as they moved around the display. The hundreds of uniformed North Korean soldiers, however, had the pleasure of
paradise. In the foreground of our view sat a smaller but equally isolated and forested hill. As we looked down on that hill, a plume of white smoke come up out of the trees. I asked in Korean if the smoke was from a forest ﬁre. Mr. Kim assured me in English, “What you see is just a cloud,” but his darting eyes gave away the fact that he had yet to see the plume of smoke to which I was referring. Wally perked up and said, “There it is ... it does look like smoke. Right there.” And with that he