Farewell to Korea ~ 평양 감사합니다

So back to my original question about the DPRK: What lies beyond the fog? After one week it is impossible to have any definitive answer, as the government works very hard to keep things shrouded in mystery.  This realization, while not surprising, is still disappointing.  The game of politics is in full gear. However, the ‘embrace’ from the local people, muted compared to the…

♬♪ You say you want a revolution…♬♪

Prior to leaving for the DPRK, I had kept my eyes on any news between the North and the South, especially in regards to the Kaesong Industrial Region.  The DPRK had shut down the factories in this region the month prior, causing great tension between the DPRK and the rest of the world. While impossible to fully understand what the logic was behind the…

To the South ~ in North Korea

What lies beyond Pyongyang?  This was a question that I have been pondering for a few days.  The city, as any capital city in the world, has its moments of allure.  As I mentioned earlier, it is a place where I could spend a fair amount of time learning and enjoying a new culture. The DPRK has already been a far cry from what…

Watershed Moments in the DPRK

What is the feeling of receiving a genuine smile from a stranger, where the eyes light up and there is no mistaking the emotions of wonderment, curiosity and delight? A watershed moment in the DPRK.  It is strange, it was one of those off-chance smiles from a local walking along the street with nothing particular happening.  A spur of the moment release of joy…

The DPRK ~ Shooting in Pyongyang

Standing beside a small garden, a simple scene transforms into a moment that will never be forgotten.  A heart-warming conversation between a mother and her child as they laugh and happily correct the very rudimentary Korean they heard (a simple ‘hello’).  Their smiles and eyes communicate more than words ever could as they look towards this ‘big nose’ foreigner, giggling again as they helpfully…

The DPRK Fog ~ What Lies Beyond The Mist

Major Trade Bridge between Dandong, China and Sinuiju, DPRK What lies across the border? Looking into the DRPK from across the Yalu River (鸭绿江), I was met with a beautiful sight of a bridge from a thriving Chinese society venturing ahead into a shrouded mist of mystery, taking the question of “what lies beyond the DPRK border?” and putting it into physical form. A…

The DPRK on the Brink of Peace ~ Moonlight Over Pyongyang

The brink of peace?  OK, perhaps it is just the absolute stillness of the night, the crisp fresh air (anything is fresh after a few days in Beijing) and a calm that penetrates the dark night that gives me this feeling of ‘peace’.  Having just arrived in the DPRK, I am still in a bit of a bewildered state.  [FYI: this will be a…