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It dawned on me just as it had done in rural Vietnam, that falling gravely sick in the countryside was essentially a death sentence; hospitals may be hundreds of kilometres away and without vehicles, and with enforced freedom of travel restrictions, people would be lucky to get medical attention.
Only those loyal to the regime with clearance can enter Pyongyang.
Korean People’s Army soldiers can be spotted overseeing mundane tasks, intimidating those sweeping streets, watering or weeding garden beds.
He was bent over heaving a cart up a hill containing a large, live pig. Supplies are limited in North Korea and act as the primary currency among the countries impoverished.
There is a market economy that’s flourished within North Korea over the last twenty years since the famine, but bartering is the norm for those outside major cities.
I found this fascinating — was it a remnant of a time since passed, or simply a reunification misdirection for the tourists driven down here? You’ve actually likely seen this motorway before, it’s regularly featured in foreign media segments of North Korea, including that Vice documentary you’ve watched.
Trips to the DMZ are a mandatory inclusion to most Pyongyang tourism itineraries and is the only time tourists are allowed out of the political smokescreen of Pyongyang.