For Another Side of North Korea, Watch This Ultimate Time-Lapse Video

Apparently Pyongyang isn't just rationed electricity and a lack of lunch options: Check out this video

"North Korea was the last country seemingly immune to change—but no longer. Recent years have witnessed mobile phone penetration, a surge in tourists, and even a marathon. Numerous special economic zones have been launched in cooperation with China, Russia, and South Korea, with railways planned linking all countries in the region."

Maybe it's time I plan that extended vacation in Pyongyang...

Read More

The Working Day in North Korea

What’s it like to live and work in one of the most mysterious countries in the world? A new book shines a spotlight on the working day in Pyongyang, North Korea. Here are a few of my favorite points, as reproduced by the Guardian:

Apartment life is a challenge.

"Those who live on higher floors may have to set out for work or school a little earlier than those lower down. Due to chronic power cuts, many elevators work only intermittently, if at all. Many buildings are between 20 and 40 storeys tall – there are stories of old people who have never been able to leave. Even in the better blocks elevators can be sporadic and so people just don't take the chance. Families make great efforts to relocate older relatives on lower floors, but this is difficult and a bribe is sometimes required."
9698785562_251663cc74_z Electricity requires coordination.

"Every day people liaise with their neighbors about the electricity situation. A large proportion of Pyongyang operates an 'alternative suspension of electricity supply' system, meaning that when buildings on one side of the street are blacked out, the other side of the street gets power. When the alternation time arrives there is a mad rush of children as they head for their friends' apartments across the road."

Read More

Visit to North Korea (Sort Of)

n my last trip to Asia, I stopped off in Seoul for an important side-trip. I'd been to South Korea three times before, and each time I'd tried to make this side trip—but each time, something came up to block my way. A public holiday was announced, or I came on the wrong days of the week, or hostilities between neighbors had erupted that derailed the plan. Each time I flew back to Hong Kong or Japan, resolving that the next trip would be successful.

Read More