[KS] Info about Pyongyang

Chris Springer springer at hiddenhistory.info
Fri Sep 14 07:46:47 EDT 2012

Dear Benjamin Joinau -

It sounds like you've already seen my book "Pyongyang: The Hidden
History of the North Korean Capital." I think I can answer some
of your questions with more specific information than is found
in the book.

1. Korean Central History Museum: it used to be on Moran Hill
before 1977 (it is said to have opened there in 1945). Where
was it located? 

**The State Museum of History, as it was then called, was located
near Ulmil Pavilion on Moran Hill.

4. The Korea Art Gallery had been closed for "renovations" for
years. When has it reopened? (If it has). Was it opened first
in 1954 or 1960?

**I'm not sure about the reopening. Pyongyang Review (Pyongyang,
1995) says it first opened in September 1954.

5. Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: it is said to
have opened initially in August 1953, but before being rebuilt
in its actual location in 1974, where was it located?

**This was near Haebang Hill, which is now part of the off-limits
Workers' Party area. A European who lived in Pyongyang long ago
told me this.

6. Chris Springer says that the Three-Revolutions Exhibition
opened in 1993 (I have 1992 in another source.), on the site
of a former "exhibition". Does anybody know what kind of exhibition
it was?

**I got the 1993 opening date from the magazine Korea Today.
The former exhibition was the "Exhibition of Achievements of
Socialist Construction." Based on its name, its purpose was probably
similar to that of the Three-Revolutions Exhibition. 

7. Was the USS Pueblo moved from Wonsan to Pyongyang in 1999?
(I found different dates).

**In 1999 the Korea Herald reported that the ship had just been
moved. In 2002 it was temporarily moved back to Wonsan. 

9. Does anybody know the date of construction of Mansudae Art
Studio? And why it was named this way despite the fact that it
is not in Mansudae area?

**According to KCNA, the studio was "created" in 1959, but I
don't know whether that's when the current premises were opened.
I'm not sure why the name was chosen, but their signature project
is the Mansudae Grand Monument, the huge statue of Kim Il Sung
(and now Kim Jong Il).

10.   When was the Kim Il Sung Stadium first built (before the
extensions and renovations of the 1970's and 1980's, when it
was still called the Moranbong Stadium)?

**Multiple North Korean publications say Moranbong Stadium was
built in 1954.  Note: one source says it was "reconstructed"
in 1954, implying that some structure may have existed before
the war. (There definitely had been at 
least a sports field on the site.)

11.   From when the site of Anhak palace in Taesong area has
been "discovered" and opened to the public?

**Excavation of the site took place under Kim Il Sung - I don't
have a date for that. In 1987 Kim Il Sung ordered the palace
to be rebuilt, but I'm pretty sure this has not happened and
that it is still just an empty field. I don't know since when
(or even if) the site is "open to the public" in the sense that
tourists are brought there. The relics found at the site are
displayed not there but in the history museum.

12.   When did the so-called mausoleum or tomb of Tangun open
to the public: 1993 or 1994?

**Pyongyang Review (Pyongyang, 1995) says it was completed October
11, 1994. I too have seen the 1993 date, but that may refer to
when ground was broken for the reconstructed tomb. Supposedly
one of Kim Il Sung's last acts before his July 1994 death was
to look over the blueprints for the tomb.

Best from Chris Springer

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