“I recently took a trip to North Korea.”
I never thought I would ever say such a thing, but it is true. It worked out that I joined a group of foreigners attending the 2015 Pyongyang marathon. It gave me a chance not only to see the country, but run thru its streets!
For the days I was there, I was able to tour the capital, Pyongyang, meet some of the people. I also made a visit to the North Korean side of the 38th parallel at Panmunjom. It was all a surreal experience, and one that I will never forget.
I was not able to indiscriminately record video like I normally do, and instead had to settle for pictures, my Iphone and my go pro mounted to my new Feiyu Tech 3D gimbal. (http://www.feiyu-tech.com/). The gimbal worked out well enough, and with the footage I collected, I was able to put together this episode of the JaYoe Travelogues.
Now, many people have heard many things about North Korea. Lots of those things seem to be true. But some of them are not so. I went with an open mind, and instead of hate and divisiveness, I found smiling faces. I also found a LOT of propaganda. There is a fear in North Korea… a fear of the United States. You see it almost everywhere you go. The looming threat of the States redirects people’s attention away from the poverty, authorities rule, and draught that currently affects the country.
I tried to make a fair video, highlighting what I saw, exactly how I saw it. I tried to translate some of the speeches told to us by the guides, and it will be up to you to interpret my perception.
To be honest, when I went to North Korea, I did not have a clear understanding of the Korean War or the divide between the North and South. In producing this video, I tried as much as I could to fact check, and actually became quite knowledgeable to the realities of the war, the people, and the places that we visited.
I’ll include my sources below, and encourage you, if you are interested, to look for yourself. I’m glad I did. (most of them started with Wikipedia and then to their subsequent sources)
*correction, I said that the USS PUEBLO was taken during the war... actually the the pueblo was captured in 1968 and the
Armistice started in 1953.*
Juche Tower: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juche_Tower
The DMZ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Demilitarized_Zone
Background of the Korean War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War
Kim Il Sung: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Il-sung
The USS Pueblo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pueblo_%28AGER-2%29
An interesting article about the “hometown” of Kim Il Sung, and a perspective of how Kim Il Sung was chosen to come into power as the leader of North Korea, from the Russian officer that taught him at the end of the Japanese occupation: http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?num=11335&cataId=nk03600
An article about the use of insects and chemical weapons that suggests possible use during the Korean war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegations_of_biological_warfare_in_the_Korean_War, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/7811949/Did-the-US-wage-germ-warfare-in-Korea.html
if you are interested in seeing North Korea for yourself, I highly recommend it. It is easier than you think. Organizations like Uri Tours can arrange a trip there for you or a group, or you can join the marathon next year. Check out http://uritours.com/ for more information.
All the points in this video are mapped out on the JaYoe Map page, so if you are interested to go exploring yourself… you will know where to go. Check out the map page at: http://jayoe.com/map/#
The JaYoe Travelogues follow Matt as he rides his trike from China to USA. Thru 100 countries he ventures, seeing, doing and meeting along the way.
If you are interested in following my journey around the world, visit my the following links...
If you like the music in this video you can find the links to it below!
Korea Empire Opening
Emotional Journey - L Ray Music
Long Drive Home
An Endless Horizon
Dirty Swamp Jack
Beach Chill Indie Rock
Alkis - Indubitably Mellow