After years of non-stop media reports on how much North Korea was a no-good, hell-hole that was living in the Dark Ages with no hope in sight, the AP snapped us out of the reverie. Alas, it appears that Pyongyang "glitters". What the.....I thought they didn't even have power!!
We are informed that:
Glossy construction downtown has altered the Pyongyang skyline. Inside supermarkets where shopgirls wear French designer labels, people with money can buy Italian wine, Swiss chocolates, kiwifruit imported from New Zealand and fresh-baked croissants. They can get facials, lie in tanning booths, play a round of mini golf or sip cappuccinos and cocktails while listening to classical music.Wait, I thought that communist socialist Marxist Leninist Maoist dictatorship means bland bland living where everyone works in grey factory buildings and eats the same food, preferably thin gruel.
More than a million people are using cell phones. Computer shops can't keep up with demand for North Korea's locally distributed tablet computer, popularly known here as "iPads." A shiny new cancer institute features a $900,000 X-ray machine imported from Europe.Cellphones? What the.....A cancer institute? You mean they have HEALTHCARE!!!
But we are then informed that outside the capital, life is the hell-hole we all know North Korea must be:
Beyond the main streets of the capital and in the towns and villages beyond, life is grindingly tough. Food is rationed, electricity is a precious commodity and people get around by walking, cycling or hopping into the backs of trucks. Most homes lack running water or plumbing. Health care is free, but aid workers say medicine is in short supply.Yes, but I thought ALL of NORTH KOREA was a COMMUNIST HELL HOLE!
But in 2010 and throughout 2011, as then-leader Kim Jong Il was grooming son Kim Jong Un to succeed him, Pyongyang was a city under construction. Scaffolding covered the fronts of buildings across the city. Red banners painted with slogan "At a breath" — implying breakneck work at a breathless pace — fluttered from the skeletons of skyscrapers built by soldiers.Oh, that makes sense. In 2 years, Kim Jong Un has transformed the capital, just like that. 2 years ago even Pyongyang was a hell hole but "at a breath" Pyongyang is now glittering. Got it.
Anyway read the rest of the article. Its about the closest to positive reporting you'll ever see on North Korea.
10:45 AM PT: Wow. Didn't expect this much response. Glad I stirred the waters! I was simply trying to mock coverage of North Korea, and all our official "enemies" and perhaps try to get the point across that life in these countries is more complex and nuanced than most of us realize or are led to believe. But I suppose by doing this, I am an evil North Korea communist sympathizer or something. Whatever people.