På besök i Pyongyang..

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Blev medlem: 16 jul 2002 21:13
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På besök i Pyongyang..

Inlägg av Kampuchea » 29 aug 2002 22:54

..köpte ett dokument om den nordkoreanska huvudstade Pyongyang, från northernlight.com, skrivet 1996 av den brittiska journalisten Alexander Frater, som har varit där på uppdrag utav tidningen The Observer..

..eftersom det är ett intressant och bra skrivet dikument, så tänkte jag vara vänlig och dela med mig av innehållet;


In Pyongyang, on successive mornings, I was woken by air-raid sirens, a male voice choir and a woman bawling through an electronic loud-hailer.

(The choristers proved to be 1,000 soldiers singing beneath my 45-storey hotel, the woman an apparatchik welcoming staff to a nearby ministry " `Today you must work harder!' " while the sirens, it seemed, were merely undergoing routine pre-dawn tests.) And, sometimes, I heard the homely assonance of steam train whistles drifting up from Pyongyang's main station.

The city, vapourised by American bombs during the Korean war, has been entirely rebuilt. Monuments and marble palaces stand at its heart, hundreds of white apartment blocks adorn its rolling hills. Yet it retains the air of a drawing-board dream, a metropolis conceived for generals and senior Party bosses. There are plenty of lesser folk around but, when night falls, they dematerialise, leaving it all to a few dozen old men being chauffeured about empty boulevards in shiny, flag-bedecked Mercs. Then, one senses, Pyongyang looks the way the great leader intended, a stunning memorial filled with his own resonating echoes.

I had come with a small party from Beijing, 23 hours away by train, and counted myself lucky to be here; in 1994 only 40 western tourists managed to get into (and out of) North Korea. Yet it was precisely this self-imposed remoteness that attracted us. Travelling through a nation that had gone into exile and encircled its 21 million people with electrified fencing wouldn't, we reckoned, just broaden the mind; it would beggar the imagination.

The Grand Monument, a bronze statue of Kim Il Sung tall as a moon rocket, stands on the summit of Mansu Hill overlooking the city he built, flanked by 100 metre-long groups of lesser bronzes. These depict square-jawed men and strong, heroic women fighting epic battles, bringing in harvests, making revolutions. Captivated by their charged vitality and narrative detail " both groups told stories, rich in incident, that required you to start at the beginning and walk, half-mesmerised, to the end " I forgot why we had come. Mr Li, a guide, summoned me a little sternly. `The others are waiting.' All visitors to Pyongyang must, first thing, line up before the great leader's towering likeness and bow. Anyone harbouring reservations about his record in the fields of human rights and international terrorism may have problems with this, but a small, wiry Inspector of Genuflections stood watching closely. Far from home it seemed wise to play along. I made a brief inclination of the head, he delivered a long and thoughtful stare.

Then I came upon two tiny girls with brushes, bent double as they painstakingly swept several acres of concrete paving. I said `Annyong haseyo' (`Hi!') but got only silence and admonishing looks; here they worked on holy ground. Mr Li murmured: `It is a great honour, they have been specially chosen.' He added: `They have done well in school.' I asked about the statues. He was cagey. `They are made in a special place and the process is unique; we invented it.' `Any chance of paying a visit?' `No, no. Everything there is absolutely top secret.' We stood looking down a long, shallow incline towards half a dozen palaces, an Arch of Triumph three metres higher than its French counterpart, two Lake Geneva-style fountains spurting 28 metres further than the original, and a 170-metre lighthouse topped by 45 tons of crimson glass. The glass, moulded and spun, depicted dancing flames.

Mrs Kim, who drove the high-speed lift up the Tower of the Juche Idea, was bright and brown-eyed. She said: `At night the torch shines over the city, a beacon honouring the great leader. He was the author of the Juche Idea which, in a nutshell, is self-sufficiency. The masses are in charge of the revolution; we are all responsible for our own destiny, each has the capacity to change it.' Far below, on the bank of the Taedong river, 20,000 schoolgirls did an intricate dance with fans and flags.

She said: `They are preparing for the 50th birthday of the Workers Party of Korea in two weeks. There will be big celebrations.' `The biggest ever,' said Mr Li. `Millions must dance and march; on that day Pyongyang will be so joyous.' The kids, synchronised as a school of tropical fish, moved with awesome precision. Vainly I looked for a single subversive moving fractionally slower than the rest, but everyone danced with intense, self-absorbed concentration; even the few hundred taking a break continued dancing from a distance. Back at the tower base a shop sold ginseng toothpaste and Chong Myong tablets, US$280 for a bottle of 70. `These tablets have won gold medals in Europe,' said the saleswoman quite aggressively.

`Yes, but what are they for?' `Brain tumour, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver and the aftermath of cerebral thrombosis.' She cocked her head. `OK? One bottle?' `I'll think about it,' I said, heading off for a closer look at the most extraordinary structure in town. The pyramidal Ryugyong Hotel, intended to be the world's largest, stands 105 storeys, or 350 metres high, with 3,000 planned rooms and five revolving restaurants. They completed the shell in 1989 then ran out of money, leaving a crane teetering on its cloud-bound peak. Mr Li, reluctant to discuss failure, said it would be finished when tourism picked up; then the building would be covered in mirror glass and visible from outer space. But how, I asked, can tourism `pick up' in a country where it hasn't even started? Slightly piqued, he said: `Soon time for your lunch,' and walked away. We were staying at North Korea's largest completed hotel, the 45-storey, twin-towered Kyoro which, following the prevailing belief that foreigners prefer to eat going round in circles, also featured a revolving restaurant. Though the efficient, functional Kyoro was rated `de luxe' the AA, probably, would have granted it two stars.

A VAST PALAZZO, dedicated to the Korean war and lined by giant action statues of soldiery, led to a park where several thousand women, not all young, were rehearsing an intricate ballet with pink umbrellas. Then, by a willow-shaded lake, I saw a beautiful, long-haired girl sitting on the grass, reading. She wore a yellow dress, white gloves and a white garden-party hat, and held the book close to her face with both hands. Her expression held a strange, myopic intensity and I longed to talk to her. But, knowing it would be a dumb thing to do, I walked slowly away past giant bronze North Koreans frozen in the act of killing hapless UN conscripts.

Much has been made of Pyongyang's huge, empty boulevards " up to 13 lanes wide " serving a virtually car-free city, and the smartly-uniformed policewoman waiting to direct vehicles that rarely come. One evening in the Kyoro bar I was hailed by a middle-aged Danish engineer. `Have you heard the news?' `What news?' `There's been a traffic accident!' I stared at him. This was a statistical impossibility.

`It's true!' he cried. `An Egyptian diplomat ran into a truck!' `Is he all right?' `Well, the doctors are still very excited but, yes, I gather the prognosis is good.' We rode the underground from Enrichment to Glory. The stations, 100 metres down, resemble baroque nightclubs of the kind once favoured by King Farouk: murals, marble, soft variegated lights, gaudy glass, chandeliers in gold and pink (North Koreans adore pink). For 10 jon (100 jon to a won) or 3p, you could take a ramshackle train anywhere on the network. The Dane said: `I have visited factories twice as deep, with thousands of workers, whole road systems and more vehicles than you see on the surface. They are preparing for Doomsday; everyone here believes that, sooner or later, the South will launch a missile attack.' Even before we arrived at the Children's Palace, Mr Li began reciting the structural superlatives important in a land where foreign praise is a rare commodity. `Height of building 55.3 metres,' he sang, `500 rooms, library contains 100,000 books, theatre with seating capacity of 1,100. Pupils from the city schools come here for extracurricular activities.' `What sort of activities?' we asked.

`Every kind you can think of.' We drew up behind a fleet of limos. There wasn't a single child to be seen but the forecourt of their palace had become a Mercedes car park. `VIPs,' said Mr Li, airily.

In the first room a dozen little girls, wearing bright dresses and a touch of make-up, attacked zither-like instruments with jangling bravura. Bemused by their fixed courtesan's smiles and swooning body movements I turned to question Mr Li, but saw him in urgent conference with a posse of grim-faced Children's Palace officials. He said to me: `The Speaker of the Jordanian parliament is about to enter. We must move on at once. Official delegations always take precedence over tour groups.' I lingered a moment and, turning to say goodbye to the little girls, found them looking blank and bored.

But instantly the smiles came blazing back and, when the Jordanian Speaker strode in at the head of his huge entourage, they took on the radiance of klieg lights. I caught up with my party in a room where other little girls " and a boy " played foot-tapping tunes on accordions.

Mr Li, looking distracted, said: `Now we have a further problem. The Kazakhstan ambassador is also coming to the accordion room, but from another direction.' It was, however, the Rwandan ambassador who burst through the wrong door as Mr Li, perspiring, hurried us off to meet a dozen chatty girls doing embroidery. There he received news that two important Palestinians, presently with the calligraphers, were about to head this way.

Sounding strangled, he said: `OK, let us visit the computer room.' Only after that did we visit the calligraphy room " and come face to face with its irate Palestinian occupants; still there, held up by the Kazakhstan ambassador dawdling with the embroiderers next door, they ignored the youngsters eagerly writing revolutionary slogans for them with brushes and runny black ink. Mr Li stuck his head into the passage, beckoned and led us to a room where seven pianists performed a thunderous rendition of A Maiden's Prayer: five small boys at uprights, two frowning girls at concert grands.

Then, horror of horrors, the disgruntled Palestinians walked in. They were followed by the Kazakhstan ambassador and, as the music swelled to a chord-crashing climax, half the Jordanian parliament " in the van their Speaker wearing Hashemite headdress, at the rear two bald, murmuring old men holding hands. Mr Li caught my eye and looked wretchedly away. I thought he was going to be sick.

DRIVING FROM Pyongyang to Nampo we noted that the highway bore two continuous yellow lines, a car's width apart, painted down the middle. Such markings had been much in evidence around the boulevards of the capital yet here they were again, traversing rice paddies. Mr Li's elegant evasions made us realise they could be important " reaching, perhaps, right to the top. Then it clicked: this had been Kim Il Sung's personal traffic lane.

Mr Li, smiling ambivalently, chose to speak about the West Sea Barrage. Built by the army in just five years, it carried a road and railway across the 8km-wide estuary of the Taedong river. `Now irrigation water is supplied to 100,000 hectares of reclaimed soil, industrial water to the factories of Nampo and Taean, and drinking water to every village for miles around.' As we traversed it he told us " with that customary glint of pride " the cost: US$4,000 million.

We halted by a granite building with a giant anchor set, upright, on its roof. It contained a lecture theatre and a souvenir shop selling plastic washing-up bowls and hundreds and hundreds of stuffed pheasants " cocks and hens available singly or in pairs, even a few songbirds wired to twigs. A saleslady who knew a little English said the pheasants, very popular in North Korea, provided full-time employment for six local taxidermists. Did I want one? Then she became distracted by the arrival of the Beijing Chinese Victory Women's Football Team. A dozen merry girls who, the previous evening in Pyongyang, had gone down 2-1 to North Korea (I'd watched it on telly), they now stood gazing raptly at the pheasants. Several even produced money and, as the saleslady moved off, Miss Ku moved in. The official West Sea Barrage guide, she wished to show us a video; so far I had managed to avoid her but now, shy, sweet-faced and icily determined, she hustled me off to the lecture theatre.

To quarry stone for their project the engineers had to fillet and flatten three mountains. Naturally, problems occurred; facing altitude sickness one moment and total immersion in Korea Bay the next, these sometimes seemed insurmountable. But then Kim Jong Il, small and bespectacled, sprang, like Mighty Mouse, into frame. As he waved his arms and talked we witnessed the dawning of enlightenment on the engineers' grizzled, weatherbeaten faces. Ah ha! Why, yes! So obvious! Afterwards I said to Miss Ku: `Did the dear leader have any actual engineering training?' `Not as such. He is just brilliant at everything. While still very young he was teaching his teachers. And his university thesis, you know, was judged to be an immortal document.' A brass band struck up in a nearby square. There 1,000 men and women stood in orderly lines as Party officials yelled at them through microphones. Everyone had brought something pink to wave " paper flowers, shrubs, scarves " and, each time an orator made a revolutionary point, a storm of pink erupted over their heads. Mr Li said: `They are sending a letter to the dear leader, pledging devotion on the 50th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea. Letters are going from all over the country; this ceremony is to wish the letter godspeed.' A sudden squall dumped icy, wind-driven rain on the gathering, yet the speeches continued and everyone remained attentively in place. Later, driving off through feeble sunshine, we offered these stern people a few uncertain waves; they sent us on our way with a prolonged, good-humoured pink blizzard.

A few kilometres later we came upon 100 gracefully-gowned women dancing to a drum and a melody they sang for themselves. `Country people,' said Mr Li, `waiting to cheer the letter.' We jumped out to applaud the dancers who, smiling broadly, applauded us back. A grandmother with a lean, deeply-bronzed face approached. She halted before Sylvia, a retired museum worker from Guernsey, and gave her an extraordinary look: affectionate, sisterly, rippling with intensity. Then she held out her arms.

Off they went, waltzing down the West Sea Barrage with such grace and energy that others soon ventured to do the same brave thing: they danced with the enemy. The singing grew louder and the drumming faster as, for half an hour, mutual curiosity and interest overcame years of hostility. It was the best party I have ever attended. At the time `joyful' seemed the appropriate word and, today, it's still the one resonating through my head. But Mr Li, whey-faced, kept muttering, `Unthinkable, unthinkable.' NEXT MORNING, in Pyongyang, traffic was held up by the delivery of another letter, this one travelling with a procession of army lorries. Several hundred soldiers, many female, ran behind, while a loudspeaker van bore an operatic female announcer who moaned and throbbed and sighed. `What on earth is she on about?' I asked.

Mr Li said: `Dear leader's great virtues, of course. Also our humble loyalty.' We were headed for the station and a train to Myohyangsan, 160 kilometres away. The International Friendship Exhibition, a six-storey 120-room palace set at the head of a lovely pine-clad valley, houses gifts received by the Kims, father and son, from foreign leaders and delegations. It's entered through a 10-ton golden door which visitors, provided they wear the gloves provided, may heave open. Once inside, they must remove their hats and fasten cotton covers over their shoes. A girl wearing traditional costume then escorts them through a selection of rooms; to see them all would require two days and a five-mile trek.

Our guide said: `The great leader received 105,000 gifts from 169 countries; the dear leader has received 30,000 from 154 countries so far.' We trudged off to see them. There was a boar's head from Ceausescu; luxury railway carriages from Mao; a silver coffee pot from Gadaffi; paintings from Castro; a bulletproofed Zil saloon from Stalin; a House of Commons wine goblet from the British Labour Party; a silver pill box from the BBC; decanters from Hogg Robinson Travel and Capricorn Shipbuilders, London; a plate from the Yorkshire Mineworkers; and, best of all, a stuffed crocodile standing upright clasping a tray in its paws. The tray bore a bottle and four glasses, a card identified the donor: Mr Daniel Ortega of the Sandinistas.

Our guide said: `Now we are putting up a new building, same size, for all the other gifts. Dear leader is receiving 20,000 annually.' At seven days a week, I calculated, that came to 54.7 gifts a day or 3.4 an hour or, allowing time for sleep, a gift every 17.5 minutes. I said: `Does he personally inspect each one?' `Of course!' This, I reflected, is why nobody sees him any more. Rumours hinting at alcoholism or melancholia are inventions of a malign foreign press. Kim Jong Il spends all his time furiously opening parcels.

At the Kyoro bookshop I bought a copy of The Great Teacher Of Journalists, an anthology of stories recounting his close association with the North Korean media. Its chapter headings included: Counting The Korean Pepper Bushes With A Journalist; Journalists Must Read More Books Than Anyone Else; Concern About The Meals of Journalists; Wedding Banquet of an Editor; Letting Cars Take a Roundabout Way to Provide Quiet Working Conditions for Journalists (traffic summarily diverted away from the offices of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper); and, of particular interest to me: Till The Finishing Touch is Given to a Travelogue.

This was the tale of `a correspondent' who had accompanied Kim Il Sung to `an Asian country' and been asked by the editor to write up his impressions.

A summons to Kim Jong Il's office soon followed. Sitting there, the correspondent found himself confessing he had no idea how to go about it. `Deep in meditation, the dear leader kept silent for a while. He then rose from his seat and strolled about his room, explaining the matters of principle arising. `If you are to write a good travelogue you should firmly grasp an ideological kernel; even when you depict a landscape or way of life you must subordinate it to ideological content.' ' As the correspondent visualised his feature " `There flashed through his mind subtitles such as Song of General Kim Il Sung Rings Around the Equator' " young Kim took him for a spin in his car, advising him to `ease the strains on his mind and breathe fresh air. Laughing loudly, he said that for a good travelogue he should prepare himself politically.' Dropping him back at the office the Great Teacher of Journalists shook his hand and bade him go to work. The resulting piece, Eternal Friendship And Unbreakable Ties, is today regarded as a classic of the North Korean travel genre.

WHAT DOES ONE do in Pyongyang after dark? Two or three restaurants admit foreigners " one features an all-woman Revolutionary Workers' band " but service is slow and the food indifferent. There is a sparsely-used state-of-the-art 40-lane bowling alley, complete with a ball in a sealed glass case once used by the great leader himself. Drinking beer back at the Kyoro was how most evenings concluded " though, one night, we joined a wedding party celebrating a Pyongyang romance between a Vietnamese student and a Belgian gemstone cutter. There I chatted to a man from Tass, a very tall Mongolian girl wearing a sensationally short skirt, a grave, good-looking young couple from Bulgaria and a French animator making cartoon films for the European market. `North Koreans are good artists, very neat, very accurate, very cheap.' Later, someone, drunk, accused me of being a spy. You don't hang around when people turn as dangerous as that so, still peckish, I went to the hotel's duty-free shop, bought some Nissin Spicy Beef Cup Noodles and a packet of Soon Fatt Biskut cream crackers, and retired to my room.

The Grand People's Study House has shelving for 30 million books, desks for 12,000 readers and an automated book delivery system which will produce your volume before you've even finished saying its title. It is this, perhaps, of which they are proudest. `Choose anything,' said the earnest woman in charge.

I said: `OK, something English.' `Typically English?' `Yes.' `How many?' `Two.' The floor suddenly shook and a jet-propelled doll's pram came screaming towards us. Beaming, she handed over its contents: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Acquiring Major Systems Contracts. Out on the Grand People's Study House balcony, meanwhile, a man addressed a crowd in Kim Il Sung Square. At least 70,000 listened under a hot sun, silent, motionless, all clasping raised pink umbrellas.

The speaker, greying and smartly-besuited, stood at his microphone talking in a hectoring voice. Mr Li: `Big rehearsal for the WPK 50th birthday. This will be a highlight. All the people down there are eager volunteers.' (He said that with the blandest of smiles.) `The chairman is admonishing them about their umbrellas; they must be held higher and straighter.' Behind the chairman three female secretaries rushed about with files; a table beside him contained five telephones, each a different colour.

The yellow one rang. He stared, picked it up and broadcast a slightly peevish conversation with, I surmised, his wife " which the crowd, stirring, followed intently. Then the blue one rang, feebly, but stopped as he picked it up. Replacing both, he barked a command and, miraculously, 70,000 pink umbrellas seamlessly turned to crimson.

By the Arch of Triumph tiny girls in white ballet tutus went cartwheeling across lay-bys, bigger girls practised gravity-defying gymnastic routines; never had I seen youngsters so supple and fit. Here, 10,000 kids assembled to march with silver spears; there, 20,000 headed for the 120,000-seat Kim Il Sung sports stadium to rehearse a series of dazzling visual tricks with multi-coloured shields. When, finally, we tore ourselves away, the gymnasts kept waving until we had turned the corner and were out of sight.

ONE SEES FEW vehicles, but plenty of pedestrians, on the 160km Pyongyang to Kaesong motorway. Miles from anywhere, heading through corn fields towards blue, faraway hills, we passed a young man marching in a suit and tie, and I wondered where he was going and what appointment he meant to keep. At a service station serving strong coffee, I said to Mr Li: `Mr Li, may I ask a personal question?' He lit a cigarette. `All right.' `Did you cry when Kim Il Sung died?' `Yes.' `Did your children cry?' `Actually,' he said, `they were inconsolable. They even cried in their sleep.' `I find that incredible.' `Why? They loved the great leader more than their own grandfather.' Bemused, I went to the shop, thronged with a bus load of apple-cheeked Mongolian kids in tall, hand-painted hats, all wanting Yishun lollies and Fa Fa chocolate; they tried haggling with the saleslady, met her patient rebuff with noisy good humour. Later, as we joined the deserted six-lane Reunification Highway, our driver stopped and blanked out his number plates with cardboard. `Vehicles of the South Korean puppet stooges do the same,' said Mr Li. By an eloquent road sign saying `Seoul 70km', a massive cubist concrete gate " its lintel inscribed `We Shall Unite Korea' " marked the entrance to the Demilitarised Zone. Today it was noisy with birdsong and smelled of rich agricultural earth.

Here a narrow gunpowder corridor bisects the Land of Morning Calm. On one side stand a million South Korean and 40,000 US troops, on the other the world's fifth largest, most bellicose, army. Several years ago, visiting the other side, I chanced upon a meeting of the Military Armistice Commission, officers from North and South seated at a green baize table " the demarcation line runs smack down the middle " shrieking abuse at each other. I had never seen adults behaving like that and, shaken, stood outside their tin-roofed shed listening to wild charges and counter charges (intimidatory shots fired, provocative incursions into no-man's-land) being hurled back and forth.

Now, accompanied by a wiry young officer and two soldiers " `We are here to protect you' " we drove past fields thatched for ginseng, negotiated the 330 volt electrified fence and, in no-man's-land, headed on through wooded country lit by autumnal gold. The Panmunjom `truce village' is a tawdry, tightly-coiled little place, the Armistice Commission shed set midway across 100m of tarmac, the North's palatial premises on one side, the South's temporary huts and twin-floored viewing pagoda " with a roof like a teapot lid " on the other. Last time I had stood over there, looking this way. Now I looked back that way and saw a beefy plain-clothes American start up the pagoda steps. There he set about photographing us, focusing scrupulously, taking his time; on whose desk, I wondered, would his pictures land tomorrow? It seemed peaceful enough yet, without warning, bullets can fly; when, a while back, a Russian tourist made a sudden dash for the line, three North Koreans and a South Korean died in the ensuing gun battle. Now the officer led us into the Armistice Commission shed, sat us down at the baize table and talked earnestly about reunification. `Panmunjom,' he said, reading from a pamphlet, `will be the first place where brothers and sisters from the north and south will meet and hug with one another and sing and dance together.' I recalled a Marine sergeant inspecting our clothes " the Panmunjom dress code forbids jeans, T-shirts, shorts, mini-skirts, stretch pants or `any form-fitting' garments likely to inflame the enemy. He warned us not to look a North Korean in the eye or make a sudden gesture in his presence. Now free to do both " and dress as we pleased " we spent 10 minutes gossiping with the officer and his soldiers before being escorted back to the road. They were not mad dogs. North Koreans have, no question, been guilty of mad dog behaviour in the DMZ but I felt more welcome on this side than on the other. After posing for pictures and the ritual exchange of cigarettes they left us with warm handshakes, even a few larky jokes. And their charm offensive had, no question, been entirely spontaneous.

Within the DMZ some good things are happening. Untouched by man for 40 years, it has become a haven for rare plants and animals, its greatest success story a Siberian crane thought to be extinct. Now the cranes breed there in such numbers that when, annually, they ride in on a storm of white wings, both sides lay down their weapons to watch.

In a lost valley within gunshot-sound of all this lie the burial mounds of Kongmin " who ruled the Hermit Kingdom in the 14th century " and his Mongolian consort. The valley runs between a pair of small, classically-shaped mountains and a turfed hilltop containing their graves, still guarded by ancient stone lions. Mr Li sat with me on the grass. `All our kings,' he said, `wanted to be famous for something " Munjong, for instance, was famous for writing about sunspots. Kongmin, though, wanted to be famous for his tomb. Having found the perfect place he spent three years preparing it, then for the next 41 years often ruled Korea from here; he conducted much business seated by his tomb.' Mr Li pointed to one of the perfect little peaks. `Oh Dear Mountain. Learning of a plot against him the king sent a party, including the plotter, to climb it. A trusted man with a spyglass kept an eye on the king; when he pulled a handkerchief from his sleeve the plotter was to be strangled. Due to a mix-up, however, they strangled a loyal astrologer instead.' Mr Li smiled. ` `Oh, dear,' said the king.' ON OUR final evening we were taken to the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery on Mount Taesong, 400 steps leading up to 123 bronze busts and a 470-ton granite slab bearing an inscription from Kim Il Sung. Looking down on his city I realised I had formed a worrying affection for it. As small mists rose and lights came on " high-rise householders, a few cars, 50,000 marchers with candles who shimmered, breathtakingly, between palaces " the whole place seemed to shine and grow weightless, like a tethered star.

I listened to Mr Li patiently explaining how the martyrs had perished, saw him standing in this preposterous `cemetery', and wondered if, deep down, Pyongyang's citizens realised it was all just theatre.

Then we noted a group of women climbing the steps, carrying flowers. Drawing closer, they waved; our hotel chambermaids had come to honour the dead. Mine spoke to Mr Li, who said: `She has put fresh boiling water in your tea flask.' Ashamed, I thanked her. Next morning, as I left for the airport, she handed me, shyly, a tiny pack of medicinal herbs: Sangwon foxglove, Korean rhubarb, Kanggye peony and the white flower of Mount Kumgang.

Travel facts

TOUR COMPANY Regent Holidays (0117 921 1711) is the UK agent for Koryo Tours which is based in Beijing (00 86 10 595 8357). The 12-day tour includes two nights in Beijing on the outward journey and one on the return, with travel by train to and from Korea. The cost is pounds 1,981 which includes return flights to Beijing, full board accommodation, and visa fees for China and North Korea. The tours will operate monthly between April and October. Extensions can be arranged in China but not in Korea.

WHEN TO GO The best time to go is in the spring and autumn as summers can be quite hot.

MONEY Sterling travellers' cheques can be exchanged for local currency (the won) on arrival in Pyongyang.

HEALTH There are no compulsory inoculations but it is advisable to check with your GP or travel clinic.

GUIDES The Lonely Planet series publishes a guide to Korea, price pounds 8.95.

Inlägg: 85
Blev medlem: 16 jul 2002 21:13
Ort: Grytgöl


Inlägg av Kampuchea » 29 aug 2002 22:56

..ville bara tilläga att jag tagit bort rubriken, dokumentfaktat samt "den lilla svarta texten", dvs den ointressanta dokumentbeskrivningen...den som inleder artiklar i kvällstidningar, ni vet, och som bara innehåller text som sedan återfinns i artkeln som sådan..jaja..

Inlägg: 85
Blev medlem: 16 jul 2002 21:13
Ort: Grytgöl

På besök i Pyongyang..

Inlägg av Kampuchea » 29 aug 2002 23:01

..köpte ett dokument om den nordkoreanska huvudstade Pyongyang, från northernlight.com, skrivet 1996 av den brittiska journalisten Alexander Frater, som har varit där på uppdrag utav tidningen The Observer..

..eftersom det är ett intressant och bra skrivet dikument, så tänkte jag vara vänlig och dela med mig av innehållet...dock var jag osäker på vilken avdelning jag skulle lägga dokumentet i, men om någon vill läsa det så ligger det under "1800 & 1900-talet"..

Inlägg: 2884
Blev medlem: 27 mar 2002 00:21
Ort: Göteborg

Re: ...

Inlägg av Lindir » 29 aug 2002 23:41

Kampuchea skrev:..ville bara tilläga att jag tagit bort rubriken, dokumentfaktat samt "den lilla svarta texten", dvs den ointressanta dokumentbeskrivningen...den som inleder artiklar i kvällstidningar, ni vet, och som bara innehåller text som sedan återfinns i artkeln som sådan..jaja..
Dvs de detaljer som gör en lång text litet mer överskådlig, lättläst, och kan skapa en lockelse att ge sig in i den långa texten ...

Inlägg: 85
Blev medlem: 16 jul 2002 21:13
Ort: Grytgöl


Inlägg av Kampuchea » 30 aug 2002 16:08

..rubrik är ganska onödigt, eftersom jag skriver än själv på forumet.

.."den lilla svarta texten" behövs inte heller, eftersom jag skrev "en egen" innan själva textens början.

..dokumentfakta, dvs. dokumentets storlek, format, exakta datum o.s.v. kanske inte heller är så relevant...men ingen tvingar dig ju att läsa ;)

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Blev medlem: 13 maj 2002 11:13
Ort: Sandviken

Inlägg av metmask » 10 sep 2002 15:29

Northern Light är oxå en väldigt fin strain som 3 gånger vunnit första pris på Cannabis Cup i nederländerna, ville bara säga det :wink:

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Blev medlem: 24 maj 2002 23:13
Ort: Sverige

Inlägg av Ingmar » 10 sep 2002 21:12

metmask skrev:Northern Light är oxå en väldigt fin strain som 3 gånger vunnit första pris på Cannabis Cup i nederländerna, ville bara säga det :wink:
Vilka referensramar.. :mrgreen:

Northern light är annars den engelska termen för naturfenomenet Aurora Borealis, som ibland kan ses i de nordligaste delarna av jorden. De flesta svenskar kallar det för norrsken. Samerna kallar det för guovsahas.


Oftast har det inte någon speciell form, men om man har tur kan man få skåda t.ex. gulgröna ormar.

mvh ingmar