[KS] Outstanding recent Russian photos of everyday scenes in north-east North Korea

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Tue Aug 1 05:57:55 EDT 2006

Dear friends and colleagues,

Tom Coyner, in Seoul, has kindly alerted those on his email list
to a truly excellent series of new photographs of North Korea,
apparently taken by a young Russian tourist couple very recently.
See  http://www.fishmonger.ru/06-07-27/index.htm

Alas, the captions are all (not unreasonably) po-Russkii.
Might some kind person on this list translate them? If they 
are half as good as the photos, they'd be well worth reading.

But the pictures - large, crisp; about 70 in all - speak for themselves. 
Most seem to be in or near Rajin-Sonbong;  including the imposing 
but apparently deserted pile of the Emperor Hotel & Casino, with statuary.
(Shades of Ozymandias, already?)

The greater part are scenes of everyday life, which Coyner compares
to South Korea in the 1970s. They include: 
- Views inside a home, including ondol.
- Women carrying water, on their heads and on shoulder-poles
(In general, many persons carrying, pulling or pushing various loads)
- That age-old Korean icon, the bony bullock patiently pulling a cart
- A tourbus stuck on a muddy rutted road, pulled out by a bulldozer
- Assorted boats
- Miscellaneous electrical equipment
- and much much more.

Separately, may I also take this opportunity to commiserate with all
those who were looking forward to visiting North Korea in the coming
months, but whose tours have been abruptly cancelled; and nor least to
Leonid Petrov, who put much effort into organizing these. See

Much as one symapthizes with the DPRK over the latest flood damage,
give the current political climate (post-Taepodong) it seems fair to
wonder what is the real balance of reason vs excuse here. I fear
it tends to confirm my sour view that the true meaning of juche
is not giving a damn about anybody else. 

Best wishes

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

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