North Korean market footage
Kim Song Min (김성민), founder of Free North Korea Radio, has posted some video footage of a North Korean market.
You might be able to see it here, but I make no promises. It definitely won’t work from China.
Nothing remarkable, but interesting. Of course the market is dominated by female vendors. Bread and dried squid were for sale. Also, shoe shines seemed to be popular.
I wish I knew what people were saying in the background.
Interestingly, the toys come with instructions in both English and Korean. Maybe the producers are hoping for an opportunity to export in the future? Finally some actual socialist building blocks behind which the children of the world can unite! You can read more in Russian here. You can read more in English here (via Google Translate)
Pyongyang Metro Photos
Most visitors to the DPRK visit the Puhung and Yongwang Metro Stations. Satellite images here and here. Google has also cataloged lots of pictures pictures of these stations: Puhung, Yongwang.
The Kaeson Metro Station is next door to the Arch of Triumh (39.043059°, 125.754027°). A friend sent some North Korean postcards that seem to come from this station, though the pictures look like they were taken in the 1970s: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven.
Pyongyang goes pop: sex scandal on the socialist music scene
According to a story in The Guardian:
There was mild controversy last year when a secret video featuring Wangjaesan’s female dance troupe entered the public domain. The video was being privately circulated among the elite, but reached the North Korean public before making it over the border to China – and therefore the world. Normally seen in traditional, body-cloaking hangbok dresses as they perform polite folk numbers, this little clip revealed unprecedented levels of sexiness in Pyongyang, as the girls popped up in sparkly hot pants and did the splits. Western displays of decadence like this are illegal but, given Kim Jong-il’s alleged love of pornography, perhaps he turned a blind eye to this one.
The video of the dancers can be found here (though it is a VERY slow download) or you can watch it on YouTube here and here. I could not find a better version this time around. Here is the original story in Yonhap (2009-11) when the story broke (with picture).
The 4 of 31 fishermen
I have not spent much time blogging about the 4 of 31 North Korean fishermen who drifted to the South and do not wish to return to the DPRK. I did track down the six videos the North Koreans filmed with the family members. They were posted to YouTube by Uriminzokkiri. See them here: One, two, three, four, five, six. If anyone can translate these, or give us a rough idea, I would apprecaite it.
KFA sets up branch in Israel!
Alejandro Cao de Benos seeks to build sympathy for the DPRK among the Israelis.