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Pyongyang calling: we spent a week in North Korea

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In rare footage of the North Korean capital, the Guardian gained an insight into what daily life is like for its citizens. Escorted by government minders at all times we were invited to visit a nursery, zoo, swimming pool, funfair, parks, factories, festivals and more, but were left questioning if anything was real. After returning to the UK, Emma Graham-Harrison reflects on what it's like spending a week immersed in a personality cult
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world politics north korea korea dprk kim jong-un kim jong-il kim il-sung guardian dictatorship school nursery swimming pool tour dolphinarium factory singers karaoke singing girl band juche pyongyang documentary north korea documentary 2018 north korean propaganda north korea military parade inside north korea north kroea vlog news north korea dolphins north korea funfair north korea school cult

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

BlackfordCountyEAS995/WeatherFan257 . 2019-03-22
11:26 sad music starts playing
121 2 . Reply
Shawn William . 2019-03-21
Those women in that bag factory looked malnourished.. cheek bones were very prominent
121 2 . Reply
PREDATOR GAMING . 2019-03-21
this journalist is creepy AF
121 2 . Reply
2009korte . 2019-03-20
sidenote : i've lived in England for a while , the worst place in the world ii've ever been
121 2 . Reply
Bob Kraft . 2019-03-20
If there is ever a reunification of the two Koreas, the northern Koreans will need to be reeducated as they have had no contact with the rest of the world.
It will not be like Easy and West Germany. The East Germans could watch West German TV, could communicate with people outside of their country. Even though they could not travel freely.
121 2 . Reply
Bob Kraft . 2019-03-20
Trump did the right thing when he walked out on "Rocket Man" in Vietnam.
121 2 . Reply
Bob Kraft . 2019-03-20
I'd never spend money to go to North Korea, let my personal freedoms taken away from myself and kept in a hotel cage for the duration.
121 2 . Reply
Public Public . 2019-03-20
the guardian. friend of apartheid and the rogue nuclear state of Israel.
121 2 . Reply
Public Public . 2019-03-20
the guardian is neoliberal. It is very influenced by the'friends of
Israel' organisation ' i.e. it's a friend of apartheid. And crushes any
comment criticising the rogue nuclear state that Israel is. So much for criticising the falsehoods of North Korea when the guardian has been proven to be completely influenced and bought by political interests which have not much to do with the freedom of speech.
121 2 . Reply
Public Public . 2019-03-20
in the one party state the party is the middle class.
121 2 . Reply
X-misses you Z . 2019-03-20
But the city is all we can see it's strange that the country side is off limits
121 2 . Reply
Dame Anvil . 2019-03-19
Not as fake as North Korea, but very very close.

First, it's "the Guardian" and not X, Y, and Z, reporters.

Than the woman keeps repeating the disclaimer that it might be, or might be not. Really? They can't go around. Everything is staged. The laws are specific about the contact with the foreigners and we already have millions of pages about comparable political systems. Yet, she can't be sure if she talked with real people.

Finally, exactly like the North Koreans, the woman has a strong impulse to repeat the mantra about the evil system, although (see above) she hasn't witnessed any of the things mentioned in the credo.

Sure, life is better. But the surveillance state is most probably way more developed than North Korea and the German STASI ever were. And the police state is showing at every movement of the curtain.
121 2 . Reply
alfred lindquist . 2019-03-19
3:26 . Elon Musk?
121 2 . Reply
Jeff Cockmann . 2019-03-19
im fascinated with those haircuts.. apparently women and men have to follow rules when they get haircuts, they can only pick from a list of haircuts and they are not allowed to do anything different
121 2 . Reply
Tingkapzkonyak Naga's . 2019-03-19
No crime no pollution likewise European n American who are so selfishness. .like n love NKorea from India
121 2 . Reply
Polinapooja Polina . 2019-03-19
4.07 wise leadership....i think she is crazy
121 2 . Reply
MrWarthelock . 2019-03-18
Anyone from North Korea here please ! Please drink some water from that 'revolutionary' well...
121 2 . Reply
purplerabbit . 2019-03-18
The guns at the nursary hahaha
121 2 . Reply
steve legends . 2019-03-17
made me laugh how she said trying to attack America, they are trying to make better training shoes than America? Little pop at the USA from the good old guardian. Not realising they had just as Many German shoes to deal with. They hate the capitalist US but love the imperialistic EU run and dominated by the Germans.
121 2 . Reply
Lewis Watson . 2019-03-17
Just listening to reporter, she is a one sided and maybe the people are happy
121 2 . Reply
Lotus Lotus . 2019-03-17
Living slowly life...
121 2 . Reply
DylanSarOkie . 2019-03-17
North Korea is a whole cult👉🚪🙊
121 2 . Reply
k_ rajwinder . 2019-03-17
I didn’t see anybody in north korea to smile properly with their own happiness....it seems like thy r forced to smile infront of camera!!
121 2 . Reply
Houston Yu . 2019-03-16
Kid's education there is actually better than that of America's.
121 2 . Reply
Lantilung Gangmei . 2019-03-16
Go and have fun but don't criticize others business nor spread rumors.
121 2 . Reply
K P . 2019-03-16
Despite of her negativity North Korea looks good to me ....
121 2 . Reply
Monika Anjelica Brown . 2019-03-15
The people in North Korea doesnt even know how to smile...
121 2 . Reply
Omar Wave . 2019-03-15
- Personality cult? More like the kardashians?
121 2 . Reply
M H MOHAN . 2019-03-15
r they not allowed to wear jeans, t-shirt, sport shoes in normal course of life
121 2 . Reply
HabibuHalama . 2019-03-15
This is like that ba sing se chapter.
121 2 . Reply
Didi Wang . 2019-03-15
FAIRTT
121 2 . Reply
theo9952 . 2019-03-15
[email protected]< this, I am not sticking my neck in there for anything !
121 2 . Reply
Account Abandoned . 2019-03-15
7:35 - This nursery in North Korea has decked out AK-47 toys, and I got in trouble for making a finger gun in middle school.


Massachusetts is worse than North Korea confirmed.
121 2 . Reply
jose sanchez . 2019-03-14
North Korean women are hot. C'mon Kim and Trump, let's declare peace and party.
121 2 . Reply
Wake up Neo . 2019-03-14
Wonderful country.
121 2 . Reply
Steven Cuzner . 2019-03-14
Funny how important it is to repeat the same things everyone else by default says about their North Korea visit, be they true observations or not. I think that country serves as a very necessary object of enjoyment for a collective western psyche of sorts. Every report harps on the same you-can't-fool-me pompousness and insufferable moral warning, the same cynical patronizing of the poor citizens. It exposes not only the constant need for the alien figure which is required in order to manufacture the self-image, but also reveals tons about current Capitalist Realism. Just listen to how she says that she "had to keep reminding myself" that what looks like happiness in fact is a tightly scripted behaviour. The magnitude of solipsism is astonishing: "is all of this a show for me", she asks. Totally amazing. Yes, journalist lady, this is your journalisty Disney Land, don't you get it? What would we do without the massive display that is North Korea? Although market imperatives already configure the North Korean economy under the radar, I think it would be a medium scale disaster for us if the country let go of its style of control and its scenography of tricked subjects.
121 2 . Reply
Richard Nichols . 2019-03-14
Despite your negitativity North Korea now looks appealling to me...... clean, happy, structured and positive people ...
121 2 . Reply
Nick . 2019-03-14
Westerners are just interested in the mysterious things. They do not care about threat of missile.
121 2 . Reply
melvin lenn . 2019-03-14
They should send Asian person, not from South Korea, maybe Chinese or else that can speak Korean Language. He/she can easily slips away from the guard and asking questions.
121 2 . Reply
Asian Lives Matter . 2019-03-14
100% of them will flee once kim is toppled...
121 2 . Reply
Asian Lives Matter . 2019-03-14
It's easy to film from big city...they will never say the truth..should know that...so artificial..boring
121 2 . Reply
Asian Lives Matter . 2019-03-14
Fake smiles acting..
121 2 . Reply
Mr Wiseman . 2019-03-14
They are happy because they are not corrupted by things like YouTube. But this world is strange and weird...
121 2 . Reply
Zen Madster . 2019-03-14
I wonder if people actually have a job riding rides at an amusement park for tourist's cameras.
121 2 . Reply
boo hoo . 2019-03-13
No one has a double chin! 😯
121 2 . Reply
_ Rodde . 2019-03-13
10:29 that's a weightlifting shoe, it's supposed to be like that.
121 2 . Reply
Jackson Amaral . 2019-03-13
they look happy or, at least, pretend to be happy.
121 2 . Reply
Seto Lucifer . 2019-03-13
They give you escorts just in case you see something you’re not supposed to and they have to kill.
121 2 . Reply
Ira Williams . 2019-03-13
Seriously this country needs to be removed from the planet
121 2 . Reply
Newman Newmanz . 2019-03-13
Staging is similar to Western Lefts, and the way they track you minders.
121 2 . Reply