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NORTH KOREA


Location - North East Asia; Capital - Pyongyang; Population - 24 million; Currency - North Korean Won MORE NORTH KOREA

On the second day of the tour we headed to the May Day Stadium for the magnificent Mass Games. In 2009 tickets ranged from 80 to 150 Euros. I plumped for the expensive option, which are very central. The 80 Euro tickets were only a few metres away - Pyongyang

 

dprknote35 North Korean Won

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk66The Mass Games are a synchronised dance & gymnastic performance by 100,000 participants, with an additional 20,000 students comprising the moving mosaic behind - Pyongyang

 

My YouTube video of the mosaic backdrop

 

dprk70It usually takes place between August and October every year - Pyongyang

My YouTube video here

 

 

 

 

dprk77The Games tell the story of North Korea's struggle against Japanese occupation, the Korean War, the prosperity of North Korea as a nation, and the hope for reunification with South Korea - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk84Rehearsals take place months before the August opening - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

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dprk87Act 1 is titled Arirang Nation - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk89Most of the Mass Games consist of locals, coming in from other towns and cities aswell as Pyongyang. I guess they pay a bit less than 80 Euros - Pyongyang

 

A State of Mind is a documentary film following 2 schoolgirls participating in the Mass Games

This YouTube video shows excerpts from the film

 

 

dprk93Dancing in the colours of the North Korean flag - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk95Students in the mosaic backdrop change their coloured books. As Rolf Harris would say 'Can you guess what it is yet?' - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dprk96..It's a gun of course - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk98There's lots of propaganda posters for sale similar to thise mosaic. They make great souvenirs - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk99A close up - Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk100The Games include dancers, acrobats, gymnasts, jugglers, musicians..Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk104North Korea has a Military First policy known as Songun. This means that the army comes first in the allocation of national resources and affairs of the state - Pyongyang

My YouTube video here

 

 

dprk108The whole crowd stood to the image of Kim Il Sung and applauded. We followed suit - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk113Brilliant colours signal the kids' turn to strut their stuff - Pyongyang

My YouTube video here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk114Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk118Pigs, rabbits etc - a celebration of wildlife or food? Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

dprk121Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

dprk123Live singing at the Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk124Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk126The acrobats and circus acts get their turn - Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

dprk131As mentioned before, 2012 is a very significant date in North Korea (and probably a great time to visit) when they will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk136A huge North Korean flag is waved during Act 4's Arirang of Reunification - Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk149These women form the shape of a reunified Korea - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk152Dancers surrounding a reunified Korea - Mass Games, Pyongyang

Motorbike acrobatics here on YouTube

 

 

dprk154Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

dprk156The epilogue is known as the Arirang of Great Prosperity - Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk157A spotlight is shone over Korea - Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

My YouTube video here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dprk159Mass Games, Pyongyang

 

 

dprk162Say goodbye and farewell to the Mass Games - Pyongyang

 

 

dprk835All North Koreans must wear a badge displaying Kim Il Sung and/or Kim Jong Il. I only ever saw the former, plus one badge that combined both, but not the latter only - Pyongyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2012 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.koreakonsult.com - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my tour with. For me it offered the best itinerary and was flexible enough to cater for travelling by train to Pyongyang. The group size, at 23, was rather large however (but a great bunch of people!)

www.koryogroup.com - Koryo Tours is the market leader

www.nkeconwatch.com - plenty of independent news stories and analysis of North Korea

www.kcckp.net - news portal on behalf of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (ie. North Korea)

www.kcna.co.jp - news from the 'Korean Central News Agency'

www.korea-dpr.com

www.nk-news.net/extras/insult_generator.php - definitely not an official DPRK site - the Random Insult Generator

Other tour agencies -

www.dprktravel.com

www.explorenorthkorea.com - USA/Dandong, China

www.geoex.com - USA

http://koningaap.nl - Netherlands

www.lupinetravel.co.uk - UK

www.nordkoreareisen.de - Germany

www.northkorea1on1.com - USA

www.north-korea-travel.com - Hong Kong

www.regent-holidays.co.uk - UK

www.universaltravel.com.sg - Singapore

www.vnc.nl - Netherlands

www.youngpioneertours.com - China

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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