Posts tagged “pics

Kids Being Kids!

Children at play and out enjoying a sunny spring Pyongyang morning at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.

Pyongyang Children

Pyongyang, North Korea Rollerblading

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Pyongyang Rollerblading

Photos by Joseph A Ferris III


Pyongyang Smiles

During preparations for my first trip to the DPRK I watched all of the online documentaries I could find, from dreary hit pieces on the DPRK Government to over sensationalized video travel guides, and common to them all was the depiction of a sad, colorless, and lifeless North Korea.  But by coming to the DPRK myself I experienced something different; I found Pyongyang to be a clean, bright, colorful, and orderly city, with a people that smile, laugh, and despite the language barrier, interact with foreigners with a shy curiosity.

Sharing my pictures of the DPRK and its people is what this blog is all about. I’m trying to present a different perspective compared to the impressions put out there by the main stream media.  I don’t deny that there are human rights violations, but there’s already plenty of material out there to explore on those issues. Instead I wish to pass on what I observed during my travels in the DPRK: that despite the hardships and pressures the North Korean people endure (whatever they may be), they remain a very human people, and just like us they love life and share the simple hopes and dreams common to all humanity.

The people of Pyongyang smile – below are pictures taken during the festivities and celebrations for 100th birthday of ‘Eternal President’ Kim Il-sung – all photos by Joseph A Ferris III

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

During the week of celebrations for the 100th birthday of ‘Eternal President’ Kim Il-sung, mass parades and celebratory gatherings were quite common.  These events were not normally open to foreigners, but often we got caught stuck in traffic jams as tens of thousands of people clogged the roads on their way home.  During these times our guides were gracious enough to let us interact with the people, here young boys wave and smile on their walk home.

Pyongyang Street Scene

Young girls laugh and smile while walking home from school.

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Boys from a brigade of Young Pioneers enjoy an ice cream snack at a local park.

Pyongyang Roller Blading

Young girls smile while taking a break from an afternoon of rollerblading.

USS Pueblo Guide

Sharing a laugh with our guide on the USS Pueblo.

Pyongyang Subway

A cheerful Pyongyang Metro ticket attendant.

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

A festive spirit pervades the crowds at a mass gathering in Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung square.

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

A festive spirit pervades the crowds at a mass gathering in Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung square.


North Korean Children’s Nearly Unbelievable Performances

I am here to apologize for my lack attention to this blog as of late.  I have been super busy with my duties as Chief Mate during short oceanographic research expeditions, hectic in port ship maintenance periods, and now working a crazy cruise on a full ship with over 50 scientists and crew – with that many people aboard available satellite internet bandwidth is in low supply making even the most general web surfing an agonizing chore.

I have also been busy planning a fall trip to Iran, Armenia, and Lebanon, along with two and a half weeks in Tuscany, Sicily, and Malta with my family.

Since I have been too busy to get any serious writing done (relatively recent picture posts don’t count), please let me at least pass along a DPRK post by my friend Joshua Spodek:  North Korean Children’s Nearly Unbelievable Performances – insights on children’s performances at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace.

Mangyongdae Children's Palace North Korea

A young lady dances at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace – this photo got me an honorable mention by the moderator of the Lonely Planet Flickr Photo Challenge.


Working for a Bountiful Harvest in the North Korean Countryside

Rare photos of farmers in the North Korean countryside (between Hamhung and Wonsan) preparing fields and working for the upcoming planting season.

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Please note that tourists are not generally permitted to take photos such as these due to the government’s fear that they could be used to portray the country in a negative manner. Our guides gracilcly permitted me to take photos of the “beautiful countryside”, which I post here with total respect and in appreciation for the DPRK rural way of life.

All photos by Joseph A Ferris III


North Korean Cell Phone Revolution

Cell phones may have arrived in North Korea, but apparently public service announcements teaching the dangers of texting and driving haven’t.

Hamhung City Square, DPRK, North Korea

Hamhung, North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


On the Road in North Korea – Departing Nampo

Nampo Countryside North Korea


Pyongyang Pop Gun – 2012

Back in the old days, North Korean citizens could vent their hate, frustrations, and propaganda whipped national fervor, by heading down to the local fun fair and testing their aim with a pop gun against posters and painting of the US boogieman soldiers and servicemen.  These days the anti US propaganda posters and paintings have all been taken down (at least where foreign tourists venture), but North Korean locals still enjoy going out to practice their aim at their local fun fair.

Pyongyang Street Games

Pyongyang, North Korea Games

Pyongyang Street Games

Pyongyang Street Games

2011 visit to the Pyongyang pop gun stand.


Pyongyang Traffic Girl Of The Month

I recently discovered that two of my pictures have the honor of being selected as the Pyongyang Traffic Girl Of The Month for May and June 2012 over at PyongyangTrafficGirls.com – it’s a fun little site that honors some of my favorite girls, check it out while my picture for June is still profiled up on their main page!

On the Streets of Pyongyang, DPRK

June 2012 Traffic Girl of the Month.

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

May 2012 Traffic Girl of the Month – photos by Joseph A Ferris III

And while messing around at PyongyangTrafficGirls.com I came across this absolutely precious kindergarten musical traffic safety skit.


Love North Korean Children – Humanitarian Charity Appeal

Dongbong Co-Operative Farm, Hamhung, North Korea

Dongbong Co-Operative Farm, Hamhung, North Korea photo by Joseph A Ferris III

For those who have enjoyed this blog and are curious about how to make a donation that will directly benefit those in need in the DPRK please let me introduce the Love North Korean Children project.  

Run by Manna Mission of Europe, a U.K. registered charity organization, the main purpose of the Love North Korean Children project is to help impoverished children, often orphans, in the Najin-Sonbong area and other places (in Pyongyang and far away from the capital).  We are running bakeries for the supply of staple food.  That means to provide self-help, because we do not deliver bread to North Korea!  We deliver flour and employ staff in the country.  Therefore a strict monitoring is guaranteed.

  • Each bakery has a capacity of feeding 4,000-10,000 children and the staff.
  • We currently have 26 possible locations for bakeries and orphanages; the construction and opening of such facilities depends on the funds we receive in the future.
  • We reached an agreement with the North Korean government to get the estate for bakeries free of charge.  So all the money goes directly towards providing humanitarian assistance.  The flour is delivered from neighboring China to save transportation costs.

Photos from the 2010 bakery inspection tour.

This project is facilitated with the help of Koryo Tours, they give the following details about the project:

To date, the charity has built 4 bakeries. The first 3 (located just outside Pyongyang, Hyangsan and Rason) are fully running and provide 5000-6000 children with one steamed bread bun per day. The newest bakery in Sariwon is fully set up and aims to feed 5000 children every day but is currently unable to start production due to a lack of funds. Money is needed to purchase the flour to make the bread (this is bought in China) and also to buy the coal to stoke the fires. Please note that no money is actually taken into the country.

We would like to raise funds to support this bakery in Sariwon. We know that every single donation goes in full directly towards the project. The running costs for the bakery are approximately EUR 7000 per month and this provides 5000 children in the area with one steamed bun per day – this might seem a little amount to you but to them it makes a huge difference. It therefore costs as little as EUR 1.50 to feed one child for one month – and under EUR 20 to feed one child for one whole year.

Donations can be made directly to the Love North Korean Children project at their PayPal page, or via Koryo Tours at PayPal links on their charity info page.

Remember – as little as EUR 1.50 will feed one child for one month – and under EUR 20 will feed one child for one whole year!


Thank You to Polaroid for Camera Sponsership

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

Polaroid gift photo, Songdowon Children’s Camp, Wonsan, North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

The American in North Korea Blog, along with my partners over at The North Korea Blog, want to thank Polaroid for their generous sponsorship of a Z340 Instant Digital Camera for our most recent trip to the DPRK, North Korea. Connecting with North Korean locals was our biggest goal for the trip, and the Z340 was a tremendous help in the accomplishment of this mission. More than just showing our pictures to locals on a digital camera video screen, the Z340 Instant Digital Camera let us give something back, and judging by the enthusiasm and reactions encountered we trust that the images from the Z340 will be cherished by the people we shared them with.  Thanks again Polaroid – we look forward to more photos shared on our projected 2013 return trip to the DPRK!

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

Sailors on the USS Pueblo receive their Polaroid photo.

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

BBQ restaurant waitress showing off their Polaroid gift photo.

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

Girls receive a gift Polaroid picture at the Kaeson Fun Fair, Pyongyang.

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

A group of girls and their gift photo at Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang.

Polaroid Gift Shots in North Korea

A group of girls and their gift photo at Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang.

DSC07381

Gift picture with girls at the 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations.


Back from the DPRK, North Korea!

Mangyongdae Children's Palace

Mangyongdae Children’s Palace Performance – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

I just arrived back home after a 10 day trip to North Korea for the 100th year birthday celebrations for Kim Il Sung.  I’m happy to report that we had an amazing trip filled with wonderful interactions with charming locals, visits with old friends, and unparalleled access to the various major cities, countryside, and even industrial and heavy industry sites –  all made possible by the support of our fantastic North Korean guides!

I was genuinely surprised to have had over 10 people introduce themselves to me during the trip as fans of this blog.  I was truly delighted by the support, and as I sit here overwhelmed by the 8,000 plus photos I took during this last trip, I am motivated to get to work knowing that all my efforts are appreciated!

And I am certainly aware of the latest round of saber rattling currently coming out of the DPRK.  I have some on the ground observations, and while not an expert, I will work to get a post out ASAP sharing my thoughts on the present situation  in North Korea.

Much, much more to come!

 


Hello Kitty in North Korea

Young boy in Pyongyang, North Korea with Hello Kitty bag and his sister’s socks!

Hello Kitty North Korea


Pyongyang Beer Stand

Pyongyang Beer Stand

Government authorized capitalism? Street side beer stand in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Don’t try to buy a drink on your own, only your North Korean guide can purchase for you at the government set rate – although if no one was watching, and if the guides really trusted you, a black market purchase could be possible.


Colors in North Korea

Who says communism has to be drab?  In North Korea your eyes will be assaulted by the dark green fields of the countryside, the intense reds of the ever present propaganda posters and billboards, and by women wearing the Korean traditional dress, the hanbok – also called chosŏn-ot, in every color imaginable.  Of course I visited during the summer, I’m guessing in the winter you will just see a lot of white.

North Korean Pohyon Temple Guide

Local guide in a yellow chosŏn-ot at the Pohyon Temple, Mount Myohyang, North Korea.


North Korean Mass Dance in Sepia and in Black and White

North Korean Mass Dance

Ladies dancing with ladies in Pyongyang, North Korea.  Sources informed us that all the men were out building houses in the countryside to help meet some grand initiative deadline that the government had set and was woefully behind on.

A North Korean mass dance is staged to provide wholesome fun and traditional entertainment for it’s citizens. If your housing political network has arranged a mass dance than attendance is mandatory – unless of course you are out building houses in the countryside.  We were the only men in attendance and to the quiet amusement/embarrassment of the North Korean ladies we actually partnered up and participated.

More pics from a Pyongyang mass dance.

Black and white mass dancing pictures below.

Woman at Mass Dance

Woman at Mass Dance

Woman at Mass Dance

North Korea in Blank and White

Woman at Mass Dance

North Korean Mass Dance

More pics from a Pyongyang mass dance.