[KS] Answers about Pyongyang
hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Mon Sep 24 09:23:16 EDT 2012
>> PY is booming!
Yes, and I may add--but maybe my view is too focused (limited)
here?--to me all looks like this could be an economic boom nurtured by
the new Internet and Intranet structures that the North Koreans are
continuing to build, with the assistance of Egypt's Orascom, mostly,
but certainly not only them. It suddenly turns out to be a very
promising market, and the strange-stranger-strangest experiences are
quickly being replaced by the-early-bird-catches-the-worm approaches.
In addition, South Korea, even if the past should erroneously be
elected in December, seems now finally to get ready to deal with the
North on economic terms. They have done a great deal in applying
alternative networking, networking without too much of a landline
network, by using satellite telecommunications infrastructure to an
extent that is topping many other countries (where the usual landline
network is being used for transmission). Satellite cell phones seems at
the two million mark in the North. All that is quite impressive. AND,
if I may come back to that original theme Benjamin Joinau posted (also
referring to his article "La Flèche et le Soleil"), nicely demonstrates
(or soon will so, I take the freedom to predict) that government
planned and imagined 'topography' is in the 21st century by no means
anymore just a mirror image of state ideologies. Or is it in China?
Anyway, Alexander Mansourov published last November a great and long
paper full of facts and pointed analytical observations on this
fascinating topic that provides almost everything one needs to be
Alexander Mansourov,"North Korea on the Cusp of Digital Transformation"
Another highly (!) informative source on technology in the North is:
These are Martyn Williams's reports and sharp analytical commentaries.
On Mon, 24 Sep 2012 10:49:51 +0200, Ruediger Frank wrote:
> Dear all,
> I would add that the history museum in Hamhùng (located in a
> building that the East Germans helped erecting in the 1950s; with its
> yellow glazed wall tiles it resembles the simultaneously built Stalin
> Allee in Berlin) feels like a miniature copy of the history museum in
> PY. In other words, what we see there is not just a museum but the
> official version of history. At least visitiors are allowed to take
> photos there, unlike in the Party Foundation Museum or in the Fine
> Arts Gallery (they have a few really nice Kim Hongdo's there).
> As for the coffee shop, it is called "Ryòn'gwang Ch'ajip"; in
> English it is referred to as "Viennese Coffee House". It is part of a
> franchise called Sacher's Kaffee (founded 1929 in Vienna) and is run
> by a German who lives a few blocks away from me in Vienna's 19th
> district. I first met the gentleman at a trade fair in PY in 2010 and
> never thought he would be able to get the project off the ground, but
> he did although he had to struggle over the smallest things. The
> prices are hefty, yet one should consider the prime location and the
> fact that everything except labor is imported. I had my last melange
> there two weeks ago and can confirm that the quality is good. But the
> competition doesn't sleep, with dozens of new siktang and sangjòm
> (previously called pongsa sent'o; a combination of shop, restaurant,
> and sauna) seemingly having emerged in the past few months alone. PY
> is booming!
> Rudiger Frank
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