north korea: a prism to soviet era
On August, she traveled to North Korea with CNN Asia veteran Mike Chinoy. (CNN)--
I thought I was ready for North Korea.
After all, I spent more than half of my time studying, traveling and living in the former Soviet Union and other Communist and Post-Communist countries
So when we arrived at the airport in Pyongyang, I felt very strange.
It was as empty as the airport in Leningrad in 1969. (
In the North Korean capital, we later found out that our flight was the only one scheduled to arrive that day. )
As we glided to the terminal, we looked down at our plane, a huge colorful portrait of Kim Il Sung, North Korea\'s \"Great Leader.
No matter where we go in the next 9 days, the eyes of Kim Il Sung or his son Kim Jong Il, the current ruler known as the \"Dear Leader, \"From the portraits hanging on buildings, monuments, bridges, we will follow. . .
Almost everyone we met had pins on their chests, including the two who greeted us, sir. Jang and Mr.
Song, he will be our guide, caretaker and controller during our stay.
In 1969, I came to Russia as a student, and it seems that every street I walked was decorated with the image of Vladimir Lenin, the father of the Russian Revolution.
The adults wore a badge bearing the image of the Bolshevik leader, and the children wore a small \"Lenin baby\" badge.
\"Lenin is alive, Lenin is alive, and Lenin will be alive.
\"I have been told that the same is true of Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.
Even in death, Communist leaders have something in common: their bodies are embalmed and lie in glass
A coffin with a lid on display in a mausoleum in Moscow\'s peaceful soil.
Russian experts reportedly helped North Korea in terms of political immortality.
The streets of the North Korean capital remind me of Moscow in the 1960 s.
There is almost no traffic, only the official vehicles whizzing through the empty Boulevard, to protect the Communist Party members from the curtains pulled by pedestrians.
In Moscow, they used to drive a black long zil or Volgas.
In Pyongyang, the car is mostly an old Mercedes, usually an uncoordinated blue sedan.
One of the best ways to see how people live in any country is to visit food stores and markets.
For a few days, we have been pestering our North Korean guide to take us to the market, which is the first bud of capitalism, and the government allows people to sell fruits and vegetables ---
A way to ease food shortages in the north.
Looking for country-
One night I went down for a walk without a guide in town.
The store was closed, it was a holiday, but when I peeped through a dark window of a store, I promptly returned to the store I saw in Russia 25 years ago.
There are a few cans of fish in the pyramid.
There are several bare counters with lonely onions and cucumbers.
This is in the capital, where food supplies are much better than in rural areas where North Korea often goes hungry.
The North Korean government held a report conference in Pyongyang.
In Russia, our tour guides go out of their way to control what we see and limit our interaction with ordinary people. Mr. Jang and Mr.
Teacher song must have studied in the same guiding school.
Their mindset is the same: make sure we don\'t see anything that has a negative impact on government or Communist leadership.
One morning, when we were kicked out of Pyongyang for a mountain resort, making sure we didn\'t have any interaction with the average person, we asked the guide to let us stop by the side of the road and take some photos of the countryside.
They reluctantly agreed.
Suddenly, the 29-year-oldyear-old Mr.
Zhang Chengze, dressed in a smooth black cloth and smirk, told us to stop.
\"There is an old woman below,\" he explained . \".
Probably, what he wanted on the tape was not the way she bent down.
Our old guide, sir.
Former diplomat song is more flexible.
When I told him how my Soviet escort in the 1970 s took us by boat along Volga, he smiled and refused our request to stop along the way.
We were allowed to have a picnic on the shore in a deserted place.
A few of us set out on foot to see what we could find.
In a small village, we met a lovely young woman with makeup.
When we praised her for her growth, she said, \"they told us you were coming.
\"Knowing that almost every encounter is arranged in advance creates a strange idea --warp.
In Pyongyang, we asked to visit some of the daily life of North Korea, and our guide eventually took us to the city park, a beautiful hill and tree.
Hearing the drums coming from a distance, I quickly walked over to see where it came from.
A few minutes later, I found an open one.
The air hall is packed with older Koreans, most of whom wear traditional mobile clothes and wear belts on their breasts.
They sang and laughed, and some people beat the rhythm on the little red --
A painted drum shaped like an hourglass.
I started taking pictures.
They just dance with a smile. Mr.
Song caught up and we all looked into the scene and was very charming in its simplicity and joy.
He turned to me with a smile and said, \"they know you\'re coming.
\"Is he pulling my leg?
Is he telling the truth?
I don\'t think I will ever know, but I would prefer to think that at least this meeting with South Koreans is not as scripted.
There may be a North
The marginal image in the fierce militaristic world, like in the old Soviet Union, most of life is like the army. -
Not personal. -
However, despite this,
The atmosphere on the edge also has an uncoordinated feeling.
In Pyongyang, 20-
Traffic Girl\'s command.
Just like they were in white uniforms and pulled back black hair in World War II --style chignons.
They reminded me of the little girls in Russia who were wearing dry school uniforms and bows in their hair.
Women in Moscow are dressed neatly but modest and have no imported clothes.
Pyongyang\'s situation is roughly the same, but today\'s North Korea has a sign of changing times: the flash here and there, the modest jewelry, is unthinkable in a short time.
How do we understand what people really think and feel?
This is a question I have asked myself many times in Russia, and I am also curious in North Korea.
There is no way for our CNN staff to blend with our Western clothing, Western look and the mandatory silk arm straps that our Foreign Ministry escorts have handed over to us, navy blue with white print says we are journalists.
In Russia, under oppressive political control, if you look hard enough and speak the language, you sometimes find that lonely dissidents living in \"internal immigration\" reject the pressure of obedience.
In North Korea, I never thought it was possible to follow the rules to some extent.
In the mass gymnastics show \"Airarang\", which celebrates the 60 th anniversary of Japan\'s occupation of South Korea, thousands of performers dressed in military uniforms have resumed
Develop fighting and suffering that breed their country.
Before the show, a murmmurm sound from the audience caused a sensation.
Kim Jong Il\'s private photographer suddenly appeared near the honorary seat.
As the short and fat leader walked into the stadium, the audience jumped up and applauded warmly, and the \"Dear Leader\" applauded them.
Do they believe in gold?
Believe in the \"subject\" philosophy of his extreme selfreliance?
I can\'t speak Korean, and I\'m away from the scripted meeting with Koreans, and I don\'t have an answer. Young Mr.
Zhang Chengze tried to explain to me: South Korea is like a rabbit, he said.
\"It faces China.
Its back is facing the United States.
Its Ass is facing Japan.
Its mouth is facing Russia.
He told me that no one is needed in Korea.
Its unity is its weapon.
Surrounded by the enemy, it must survive on its own.
There are two in the mountains.
An hour\'s drive from Pyongyang, there is a huge museum on the hillside to store all the gifts international leaders have given to Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il.
I asked what was the first gift Kim received?
The guide was an elegant woman in a traditional costume who walked through the cold marble corridor and led us to a room where
The size of the train compartment, exquisite wooden interiors and polished brass lamps are gifts given to us by Soviet ruler Stalin.
On our journey, we walked down a corridor to the last room. the short guide pulled the door and I gasped. A life-
The great leader, dressed in a suit, stood in the trees of the lake, in the mountains in the distance.
This is very real.
Even the leaves on the tree rustle like a breeze (
From a hidden fan? )blows by.
The music is solemn and solemn. Mr. Jang and Mr.
The song stood and bowed respectfully.
The great leader stared blindly at the distance.
Does he know where his country will go?
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