From A to B in North Korea
North Koreans don’t travel much and often stay in their hometown. There is a train, but the tickets are simply too expensive for many North Koreans. Therefore, they often have to walk very long distances. And bicycles? Yes, there are also in North Korea, but owning a bicycle is not a given for a long time, even for that many people are too poor. Few North Koreans have their own cars; cars are pure luxury. Although the entire network of roads covers around 25,000 kilometers, only a very small part of it is paved. That’s why many cars break down quickly because they drive on the broken roads.
Expensive cars? Not for everyone!
Pyongyang has three million inhabitants, but there were almost no cars. This is slowly changing; there are now more cars on the road than before. You will see local models, but also large and expensive cars from the west. These are mostly driven by people who are members of the North Korean Communist Party or high-ranking military personnel. You can recognize the vehicles or their owners by the car signs, which have different colors. In North Korea itself it is said that the Koreans do without cars for environmental reasons. Pyongyang is the only metropolis in the world that has no real “rush hour” (rush hour with busy streets). The state determines who is allowed to drive. Only loyal citizens get a car, the higher the status, the more expensive the car.
Propaganda instead of problem solving
Everywhere you go, you come across the propaganda of the rulers of North Korea. Even in the most remote areas, posters, pictures or murals can be found glorifying the government. On large boards you can read the guidelines of socialism like “Let’s work hard!” But according to the World Health Organization, around a quarter of the population, including many children, goes hungry, even though many people in North Korea work really hard. Everyone has to lend a hand here to bring in the harvest. If there is another natural disaster, in the worst case scenario the harvest will be lost. But most Koreans are dependent on the rice harvest. In order to gain more area for agriculture, many forests are clearedt, that then leads to soil erosion and ultimately to further disasters because the water cannot run off and the fields flooded. For more information about North Korea and Asia, please visit shopareview.
Are all North Koreans doing badly?
No, those who submit, work for the party or excel in the wars can count on many advantages. The children of party members or people who have done a lot for the country are allowed to attend good schools. Here they even learn English, the language of the alleged enemy. Because the North Koreans know that if you want to survive in modern times, you have to speak English. So elite children learn English and not Chinese. Many people in the capital are very well dressed. Some even move into apartments that do not correspond to our apartments, but which are very different from the huts of simple workers and farmers in the countryside.
But in some apartments, for example, the water pipe has been forgotten and the tenants carry water in buckets to wash up on the tenth floor. However, anyone who owns such an apartment is proud of it and will praise the revered Führer even louder than usual. Otherwise, nothing else is possible. This is also the world that is shown to tourists. There is even a developed ski area in North Korea with modern lift systems. The ski area at Masik Pass was very expensive, but very few North Koreans will ski here. The lift tickets are not affordable for them, not to mention the ski equipment that is necessary for skiing. Most of the tourists who cavort on the ski slopes are from China. Incidentally, North Korea is the country with the lowest proportion of foreigners, as you can hardly immigrate at all. Or maybe not that many people want to immigrate to North Korea?