What Do You Give a Dictator Who’s Got Everything?

 

This is the sixth in a multi-part blog on North Korea. You can find the others here

The International Friendship Hall is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen.

Faking Enlightenment in the DPRK

This is the fifth in a multi-part blog on North Korea. You can find the others here

After another horrid hotel breakfast we were taken to visit a Buddhist temple in the mountains. It was said to be very old, but detailed questioning revealed most of it to be a concrete reconstruction. According to the North Koreans, the original temple was destroyed by the “American imperialists” during their bombing campaigns in the Korean War.

A North Korean Field Trip

 

This is the fourth in a multi-part blog on North Korea. You can find the others here

One day I took an overnight trip from the capital of Pyongyang. A field trip of sorts. It was the only time we were permitted to sleep someplace other than our hotel, locked down on an island in the city.

The North Korean Hotel Experience

 

This is the third in a multi-part blog on North Korea.

I’ll begin by telling you a little about our hotel: our posh 5-star jail-away-from-home, the site of our evening house arrest, an excursion into the surreal side of tourism at the edge of the map.

First Glimpses of Pyongyang

 

This is the second in a multi-part blog on North Korea.

Getting in to North Korea

This is the first in a multi-part blog on North Korea…

Many readers have asked about my time in North Korea. Why did I go? How did I get in? What was I thinking?

Holi-daze in Hell

dprk3.jpgSurrealism supplanted reality the moment I landed in Pyongyang, North Korea. In front of the airport terminal, beneath an enormous painting of Kim Il-Sung, a long line of women in traditional dress chanted “Welcome Pyongyang!” as they pumped their fists in the air.