Impressions of North Korea: A Chinese Tourist’s Photo Diary – Part 3 (of 3)

November 10, 2010Chiafu Chen 陳家福2 Comments, , , ,

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38. On October 2, we were arranged to go to Panmunjom, a place that we had longed to visit. The distance between Pyongyang and Panmunjom is 168 km. This road is roughly equivalent to an arterial road in China. Very few vehicles could be seen, and there was not a single gas station. We occasionally came across checkpoints with soldiers. Neither were there many peasants working on the farms.

After a two-hour ride, we saw heavily harmed soldiers at the gate to the Demilitarized Zone and a Benz jeep parked nearby.
 

At the gate were People’s Army officers with solemn looks on their faces. We were led by one of the People’s Army soldiers into Panmunjom.
 

41, This is the exterior of the venue where truce talks took place.

42, The place where the Armistice Agreement was signed. There were actual desks, tables and flags that were used during the truce talk.

43, The Korean People’s Army lieutenant was our guide, his gritty eyes radiating inviolable dignity. After his introduction, we Chinese tourists took turns to take a photo with him. However, our Belgium tourist, due to his special looks, was mistaken as being from United States, and was thus disdained by the lieutenant.

46A, This is the common security area of Panmunjom. The wooden cabin was the place where the post-war talks took place among Korea, China and the U.S. The Military Demarcation Line ran through the house, which was marked by the white, 50-centimeter wide cement strip between the two Korean soldiers.

South Korean soldiers looking at our side via binoculars. Their cool looks and relaxed manner created a great contrast with the North Korean People’s Army soldiers’ erect posture.
 

48, During our two-day visit, our tour guide and hosts repeatedly mentioned that the biggest wish of their Dear Leader was reunification. President Kim Il Sung’s final writings was also about reunification. These writings was inscribed on the granite plate that stood inside the demilitarized zone.

49, Upon returning Pyongyang from Panmunjom , we were led to visit the U.S. spy ship captured near Wonsan by the North Korean naval vessels on January 23, 1968. This is the U.S. spy ship “Pueblo”, parked in the river Datong.
 

51, Before dusk we arrived at the last attraction of our trip: the Juche Tower. Standing 170 meters tall, it is a symbol of Juche Idea, founded by Kim Il Sung.

52, Pyongyang’s Daedong River, overlooked by Juche Tower in twilight.

53, The last item on schedule before we left North Korea was we being brought to Pyongyang’s foreign tourist shop. This is the exterior of Pyongyang Friendship Shopping Centre.

54A, the fairly dazzling array of goods in the counter.

Korean roasted duck meal, perhaps every foreign tourist group is able to enjoy a meal like this at this restaurant for foreign tourists.
 

56B、Korean hotpot: lots of vegetables, very little meat.
 

57, We got up early in the morning because wee needed to catch the flight back home at 8:10. This photo of Pyongyang’s morning was taken at six o’clock right before we left the hotel. We had been eager to shoot some Pyongyang’s night scenes. However, due to lack of electricity, Pyongyang was covered with darkness: no car lights, no street lights, not to mention neon nights…
 

58, Our plane began to slowly taxing on the runway, and we would soon leave the country. During these few days, we had have too much complex emotion surging in our heart. Every one of us was silently praying and wishing the best for the North Korean people! (The End)

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2 comments to “Impressions of North Korea: A Chinese Tourist’s Photo Diary – Part 3 (of 3)”

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