Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea

Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea

Eddie Burdick

Language: English

Pages: 339

ISBN: 0786448989

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


To most of the world, North Korea remains a secretive and mysterious nation, one that has tightly controlled the outflow of information in order to groom its public image. This book chronicles a rare, regime-sanctioned excursion by a North American into the heart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. What is revealed is often what's expected, such as the adoration of leaders, excursions to national monuments, and exposure to propaganda relating to self-sufficiency. But as a Korean speaker, the author gathered a lot more information than the scripted English narration provided by his Korean guides. Behind the propaganda of the Communist regime, the authentic, eye-opening North Korea is revealed.

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and didn’t notice a single person acknowledging the glee coming from the observation deck above. The people behind the glass were teary-eyed with joy, and the people on the ground below were ignoring them even though it was obvious by the banging on the glass, the eye contact, and frantic hand signals that the people upstairs recognized the people down below. As a group we took a half step forward, then paused, then took another half step forward and paused. While we waited I overheard the

then we turned in to the Kungryong tunnel. As the van passed through the tunnel, Mr. Kim the Younger, resplendent in his jacket and tie, perched against the seat in the front of the van, looked back at the four foreigners and said, “This is one of Pyongyang’s tunnels.” As if on cue, the four of us turned to look out our respective windows at the dimly lit tunnel walls passing by in a blur. Indeed, it was a tunnel. We could see evidence as we drove past. It was a tunnel in every sense of the word.

soaking up the rays as much as posing and posturing in the rays. They were all wearing hip-hugging denim trousers that would have exposed much more than I would have cared to see had they not had their crumpled white dress shirts smartly tucked in all around. One of them had a thick black leather belt with studs strung through the loops on his trousers. His shirt cuffs were deliberately unbuttoned and flapping in the breeze as he posed and postured with the rest of them. His hair was a carefully

twenty-meter-tall bronze image of Day Two 135 Kim Il Sung to which we were about to pay homage. First, however, I was captivated by the metallic figures of warring Koreans. They were of the predictable socialist type. Mainly men, but more than a sprinkling of female comrades were lending a hand. They were all covered in the blue-green of verdigris — the patina lending a certain authenticity to the sculpture. All the men had expressions of resolute duty on their impassioned faces. Not many were

high. In the pavilion I found Charles chatting in Spanish with a group of olive skinned picnickers. They were all animated and amiable and they went back and forth exchanging pleasantries and chit chat. After a while Charles rejoined our little group and revealed that they were a family of Cubans connected to their Embassy in Pyongyang. Like everyone else, they were here to enjoy the view and relax. Charles shook his head and grinned as he translated their question into English for us, “How can

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