Video from Pyongyang

Steve Gong is a photojournalist who got a chance to see the true Pyongyang. He made this cool video of his trip behind the scenes.

Check out Gong’s website for pictures from the mass games and more at stevegongphoto.com

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The cosmonaut who crashed into Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 23, 1967 Soviet cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov was about to embark on a space crusade he knew was doomed from the start. The operation was an idea by Leonid Brezhnev himself who wanted to stage a midspace meeting of two Soviet space ships.

Komarov’s close friend and Soviet hero Yuri Gagarin who inspected the Soyuz capsule found 203 structural problems that would make this vessel deadly to fly in space. Even then Komarov wouldn’t back out – because Gagarin was his back up pilot. Gagarin wrote a report and suggested that the mission should be postponed but no one dared to present the report to Brezhnev.

Gagarin did everything he could to stop the launch but he was no match against Brezhnev’s wishes. Yuri Gagarin died in a plane accident in 1968.

Read the full story at NPR


Red Dawn is back, this time with North Koreans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filmmakers behind the remake of Red Dawn from 1984 have announced that the enemy state will be switched to North Korea to boost box office potential.

The original Red Dawn starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen was a great movie about a bunch of teenagers fighting of invading Soviet forces. In these times of good movie ideas being hard to find it’s no surprise that a remake is on its way. As Russia has lost most of its menace-ess of the cold war days North Korea sounds like an obvious choice for the villain.

North Korea has been a growing trend in the entertainment industry. I guess good villain countries are hard to come by these days as the big budget video game Homefront with a similar plot was released earlier this year.

The Red Dawn remake has had some major financial troubles but is planned to hit the screens some time this year. With no Soviets and most likely no Charlie Sheen.

Screenrant has the full story


Pictures from Pyongyang

These pictures have been around for a while but these kind of reports are always worth a repost.

Find the rest at Cavemancircus


Recommended reading – Aquariums of Pyongyang

Ten years in the North Korean gulag.

This book was published couple of years ago but I didn’t stumble on it until now. I’m lucky I did.

Aquariums of Pyongyang is an autobiographical book of a little boy who is sentenced to labor prison camp with his family. The author Kang Chol-Hwan tells a detailed story of his time in the camp, his life in North Korea as an ex-convict and his final escape to South Korea.

Kang Chol-Hwan was born to a wealthy family in Japan. Like many others during the 60’s and 70’s his family became a part of a moment of Japanese with Korean origins moving back to Korea to build a new paradise like country. Only to realize that this paradise on earth was nothing like they expected.

Kang recaps the events that took his family from a privileged life in the city of the elite, Pyongyang to a prison camp to survive on frogs and grass without even an explanation.

Kang’s story is truly terrifying and at the same time an interesting and rare glimpse inside North Korean prison camps. Some of these camps are claimed to be closed today due to international pressure. But sure enough still thousands of Koreans are suffering prisoned into same kind of camps.

Aquariums of Pyongyang is available online e.g from Play


I want to ride my bicycle – In North Korea

Looking for a destination for an active holiday? Here’s a hint. Travel agency Koryo Tours is planning to organize a bicycle tour in North Korea.

Chance for regular tourists to ride bikes across large swathes of North Korea, a unique chance to be a part of DPRK tourism history and see what is usually driven past at a more leisurely pace, not simply short journeys by bike for this tour, some major routes and fascinating things to see and do along the way, sign up now as spaces will be limited and start getting into shape for the ride of your life!

Check out Koryo Tours for more info.

This trip sounds truly amazing. The first of its kind event is planned for September 2011. Prices start at 2071 $.