The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Tag: Pyongyang

Video footage from Pyongyang

London-based photographer Steve Gong posted a 10-minute video he shot in Pyongyang:

Pyongyang Style from Steve Gong on Vimeo.

Christ, North Korea’s subway is even more grim than Line 1.

On the other hand, the hair stylist seems rather charming.

Speaking of communist subways, I’ll relink to this great collection of photos and panoramas of Moscow’s subway stations, many of which were built when the Soviets were actually producing decent architecture.

‘World’s worst building’ set to open in spring

Pyongyang’s iconic Ryugyong Hotel—once called the “Worst Building in the History of Mankind“—is set to open sometime in spring, the WaPo reports.

Now, I’ll repeat what I said earlier about the Ryugyong. I’d found it sort-of-cool actually when it was all exposed concrete. Admitedly, I have something of a hard-on for brutalist architecture, and the Ryugyong had that sinsiter, brutalist/Stalinist vibe in spades. Covered in glass, however, it loses all that vibe.

Coke and KFC in Pyongyang?

YTN is reporting that Coca Cola and KFC are set to open branches in Pyongyang.

About 10 Coke and KFC officials, mostly headquarters guys and executives handling overseas projects, reportedly visited North Korea between July 5 an 9 at the invitation of the Daepung International Investment Group, a North Korean-led body set up to draw foreign investment in North Korea.

According to a source familiar with North Korea, they reportedly reached a final agreement to open up branches in Pyongyang.

The source told YTN that the branches would open this September or October.

YTN notes that North Korea’s decision to accept investment from said companies is seen as a sign that North Korea is fairly serious about opening up, given the companies’ status as symbols of international capital.

The YTN piece also notes that North Korea is also working to improve its relations with the overseas media, agreeing with AP to allow the latter to open a permanent bureau office in Pyongyang, followed by an agreement with Reuters on video content delivery.

All of this has some cautiously optimistic that North Korea might be transforming in a manner different from that of the past.

MARMOT’S NOTE: I’ll believe the Coke and KFC story when I see it actually happen.

N. Korean apparently like the traffic to keep moving

Here’s a video of a Pyongyang traffic cop dealing with a foreigner in a BMW MINI who stops his car to film her:

According to the Joongang Ilbo report in which I saw this, Chinese diplomats say you can see the children of rich families driving Mercedes, BMW and even Hummers in Pyongyang, usually around Changgwang Street in front of the Koryo Hotel.

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