Alternate History

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Foreword

In April 2016, I visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea. My interest in visiting was purely anthropological. I wished to observe one of the most isolated cultures on the planet without judgement, or at least as much as was possible. I am indifferent to politics and I stopped consuming the media years ago. There is no hidden agenda in the following account, except to show that there are two sides to every story and both are just as real to the people to whom they have been taught.

With the exception of the final quote, all italicized sections of this post are quotes from the book, “The US Imperialists Started the Korean War” by Candidate Academician Ho Jong Ho, Dr. Kang Sok Hui, and Dr. Pak Thae Ho. This book is translated into many languages and is available for purchase at propaganda* bookstores throughout the DPRK.

*The use of the word “propaganda” is theirs. In the DPRK, no attempt is made to call it anything other than what it is.

Chapter One: The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum

The US imperialism’s vicious policy of world domination was based on the insatiable avarice of the US billionaires who had fattened to the utmost.

She strides towards us. Chin forward, steely eyes. A tight smile as she is introduced as our museum guide. We follow her down the path. Statues of fighting men rise beside us. Faces forever frozen in fury. First stop: a row of battered war machines. Planes, Jeeps, tanks. Captured weapons from the US aggressors. She bares her teeth in a smile. Trophies.

I lift my eyes to the photos displayed above. Soldiers with arms lifted in surrender. Lifeless faces.

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Next stop on the tour: the Pueblo. It was an armed US spy ship that had disguised itself as a research ship, the museum guide explains. It was captured in DPRK territorial waters. We step inside the vessel. Each bullet hole is circled in blood red. We sit in darkness as a film about the incident is shown. I settle back in the seat and try to focus. I’ve had only a couple of hours sleep every night over the past four days. The grainy images blur. I close my eyes and take slow, deep breaths. The retro-dramatic musical score drowns out the heavily accented narration. From time to time, I open my eyes. Images flicker: the Pueblo crew with arms raised; President Johnson’s face contorted with cartoonish rage; a closeup of the official apology from the US government; the crew striding past the camera, one by one, to freedom.

(Below is the actual video.)

The Korean people’s great victory in the Fatherland Liberation War was a brilliant victory of the Juche-oriented, revolutionary military strategy of President Kim Il Sung, the ever-victorious, iron-willed brilliant commander and gifted military strategist, who had accumulated rich experience in the protracted arduous anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle and combined a great revolutionary idea with outstanding leadership ability and brilliant military art.

No photos are allowed inside the museum. The guide waits for us to put our cameras and phones away before leading us inside the massive building. It is both austere and opulent. Marble floors, soft gold military insignia. A color statue of Kim Il Sung presides over the central hall. He stands against a backdrop of fireworks, arm raised, beatific smile. He is reacting to the crowd.

I whisper to one of our Korean guides, “The Marshall** really looks like his grandfather.”

A soft glow lights up her eyes. Her voice thickens with fondness. “He does.”

The museum guide turns our attention to the flower carvings in the wall. Magnolias are very special to the Korean people. The last part of her explanation is muffled.

As she leads us through the vast corridors, I approach her. “Excuse me, did you say that magnolias represent the pure hearts of the Korean people?”

My question provokes a glimmer of delight and a twitch of annoyance. “Clean hearts,” she corrects me. Her face relaxes into a slight smile. “Thank you for asking.”

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For the next hour, we wander through a labyrinth of reenactment and commemoration. Life-size dioramas of field life. All four seasons are represented. Birdsong emanates from the speakers for summer; icicles hang from the huts for winter. We continue through replicas of soldiers’ tunnels and rooms lined with memorabilia. The mood darkens. The museum guide raises her tiny porcelain hand, palm up like a show model, to the glass jars displayed on the shelves. These contain some of the actual insects that the aggressors used as germ warfare. Millions of flies, spiders, mosquitoes, beetles and other insects were infected with cholera, typhus and other epidemic bacilli and then they were dropped on the Korean people.

Her hand falls to her side. She beckons us into the next room, which depicts a wasteland of defeat. White crosses and corpses. Blood red sunset. A crow picks at the flesh of a dead US soldier. An endless loop of cawing pours out of the speakers.

The US mercenary troops, on the order of Harrison, tore the babies away from the bosoms of their desperately resisting mothers and locked them up in another warehouse. The hills and air of Sinchon reverberated with the babies’ cries for their mothers and the screams of the mothers calling for their darlings. The US cutthroats gave gasoline to those innocent babies crying for water to burn their hearts to death. They starved and froze them to death. They threw rice straw over the heads of the mothers and children, poured gasoline over it, and set fire to it. Not satisfied with this, they threw more than 100 hand grenades into the warehouse through the window to murder the detainees cold-bloodedly. As a result, over 910 people, including 400 mothers and 102 children were killed together in the two warehouses.

The museum guide invites the ladies of our group to take the elevator to the second floor. I shake off my daze and break the silence, “It’s all really interesting.”

She beams. “Thank you.” She begins to quiz me on things that she has told us. Dates and names of battles.

I stammer. My answers are wrong. She sighs and her shoulders slump, but her hands finally unclench.

I’m not usually such an airhead, I want to explain. I haven’t slept properly in days and I’m going through caffeine withdrawal. Tea just doesn’t have the same kick as espresso. I’ve always had problems memorizing rigid facts. My brain works with the abstract – observation and feeling. But somehow I don’t think she would understand the concept of jet lag, insomnia brought on by travel excitement, or a brain that does not follow rules.

The grand finale of the tour is a 360 degree panorama of the Battle of Taejon. The museum guide stands before us. Schoolteacher enthusiasm. Gentle condescension. How many figures are in the panorama? How deep is the image? Some venture guesses, but none of them are correct. She smiles at the effort. The lights dim. The reenactment commences. The battle orbits the audience. Gunshots, explosions, and smoke.

As we ride the elevator back down, I say, “The museum is very impressive.” Exclamations of agreement arise from the others.

Again the radiant smile. “Which was your favorite part?”

“The panorama,” we say in unison.

She clasps her hands together and bows her head.

After we buy souvenirs and refreshments, she leads us outside. A group of school kids has begun their tour. They fidget and giggle. Some of them make goofy faces at us.

I linger by the guide. “Can I take your photo?”

“Only if you are in it,” she says.

“Thank you,” I tell her afterwards. “I will always remember this.”

Her handshake is warm. “Thank you very much for your respect.”

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Chapter Two: In the Zone

The data released later show that Dulles met Syngman Rhee and Sin Song Mo at the US embassy housed in the Pando Hotel, Seoul, and re-examined the “northward expedition plan” behind closed doors. He instructed them to “attack north Korea along with the counter-propaganda that north Korea had invaded south Korea first” as planned and hold out for two weeks at any cost.

The parking lot is filled with tour groups awaiting their turn. Chatter hovers overhead. Chinese, Russian, and English mingled with other languages. Some of our group stands in a circle.

One of the Americans shakes his head, “I can’t believe they believe that the Americans started the war.”

One of the Canadians says, “Well, it’s not entirely impossible. There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to wars and history. It’s not like the US hasn’t started wars on false pretenses before.”

The American stiffens. “What do you mean?”

We all look at him and reply in unison, “Weapons of mass destruction.”

“Oh,” he nods. Rolls his eyes. “Yeah.”

The conversation turns to the upcoming US presidential election. My eyes glaze over and I slip away. Maybe they sell iced coffee in the gift shop. I pounded two on the long bus ride down here, but it has had little effect. No sleep again last night, dammit. I am exhausted to the point of incoherence.

No iced coffee for sale, but I do score a “Meet Me in Pyongyang” t-shirt for my husband.

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We file into a small building where a steely-eyed colonel awaits. He responds to his introduction with a glare. He whacks the pointer on the wall map. Words flee his clenched jaw. He stares over our heads and blinks while one of our Korean guides translates. Another whack. Some of us flinch. Whack. More words are spit out. He sets the pointer aside and stalks out.

Before we enter the gates, we are instructed to line up in five rows. One row will go first, and then each row will follow behind in turn, in one long stream. Once inside the entrance, we are again instructed to line up in rows, but this time we will walk in our respective lines. The colonel waits until we are ready, and then marches forward. As soon as we set forth, our rows blur into each other. We are disheveled, bewildered, and some of the guys are bleary-eyed after late night partying in the hotel. Our guides beckon us forward in our slovenly march.

One little white building and then another. The locations of the armistice talks and signing. More dates and facts. My mind drifts out the window to the spring blossoms and chirping birds. Behavior reminiscent of Catholic school. Even at a young age I resisted anything that I was told I must believe, no matter what it was.

As the complete failure of the “new offensive” plan of the US imperialists was obvious, the US imperialists had no choice but to give up the daydream of an “honourable armistice”. They turned up at the armistice talks without regard to the prestige of the United States around which the myth of “mightiness” had been crystallized. On July 27, 1953, they fell to their knees before the Korean people and signed the armistice agreement.

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The Joint Security Area is the neutral zone surrounding one section of the military demarcation line. We shuffle forward in our listless rows. Surveillance cameras are perched on every ledge and corner, monitoring the slightest movement. Someone mentions that the South Korean soldiers are not present today, because the current situation is too tense to have the two sides staring at each other. We are led into the blue buildings in the neutral zone and then the colonel takes a group photo with us. He accompanies us back to the bus, exchanges a few curt words with our Western guide, and then strides away.

Our Western guide takes a seat next to me. “Whew. I’ve never seen him so angry. He grabbed my jacket and said, ‘Why are you wearing this stupid jacket? You look like an imperialist asshole.’ He’s usually really cool. I wonder what’s going on.***”

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Chapter Three: That Which Does Not Exist

The big bus churns up the narrow, pothole-pocked road. My superficial doze dissipates. Rather than return to Pyongyang after the DMZ tour, we have received permission to visit an outpost and view the fabled concrete wall.

We file up a steep path. Pink blossoms frame the small white building at the top. A colonel steps out to greet us. We follow him into a white room. Photos of the two departed leaders and a large map are the only decorations. He gives us a short lecture, which is translated by one of our Korean guides. Soft-spoken voice, gentle demeanor. He couldn’t be more different than the other colonel. The concrete wall was built by the imperialists to divide the Korean people. According to the United States, this wall does not exist. But now we will see it for ourselves.

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We move outside. While the others jostle for a look through the binoculars, I step up on the mound and use my zoom. The landscape has not yet awakened from winter. Look, there is a building on that hill. South Korean and UN flags flying overhead. And there, just to the left, a long concrete ribbon stretches across the muddy brown hills.

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Note the beige line to the right of the colonel’s shoulder. It was visible even without binoculars.

All these past facts show that the US imperialists, travelling a downward path ever since the armistice, have not given up their criminal ambitions to cling to south Korea and, with it as the base, to invade the whole of Korea and Asia and that to realize this aggressive ambition they are scheming to ignite a fresh war of aggression by putting the south Korean puppet clique to the fore as they had enkindled the Korean war in the past by egging on the Syngman Rhee clique.

Chapter Four: The Aftermath

Conversations over meals. Reaffirmations of what was seen and heard and felt. I will remember these as much as the tour itself. Yes, it really happened. Yes, we are really here. It’s possible that I’ll never meet such a fascinating group of travelers again. Spirits of curiosity and defiance.

I glance around to be sure our Korean guides are out of earshot. “My great-uncle was a prisoner of this war.” The others fall silent. “It was for a few weeks, I think. He was injured. Shrapnel was embedded in his broken leg. They didn’t set it properly and it got infected. Somehow he lost his rosary, which was giving him the will to hang on. He got really sick. Delirious. The Blessed Mother appeared to him and gave him back his rosary. For his entire life, he has remained devoted to her.”

All faces are turned towards me. The mention of religion hasn’t provoked sneers or eye rolls. I sigh. “He has cancer now. He would never speak to me again if he knew I came here. He wouldn’t understand.”

Nods of agreement. Solidarity. Few will comprehend our compulsion to visit and many will criticize.

Kim Il Sung laughed heartily and said, “I have no worries. The US imperialists have said time and again that they will drop bombs on our country. Each time they do so Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il telephones me. We agree that if they drop a bomb on our country, we will do the same.”— “A Bull That Can Gore and a Bull That Can’t”, Anecdotes of Kim Il Sung’s Life, Volume 2

**Kim Jong Un
***When you take a tour of the DPRK, there is, of course, a total blackout of outside information. Upon our return to Beijing, we found out that on the day we visited the DMZ, the DPRK’s missile test in honor of Kim Il-Sung’s birthday failed.

53 thoughts on “Alternate History

  1. That is a real adventure. I personally would not dare to go to many Far or Middle East countries.
    The older I get, the more afraid I am of different whatever problems that can happen during lengthy trips to places where one actually doesn’t have that much rights.
    \When it comes to history, there are usually two or even more sides.
    The World War II history is unbelievably different depending on who is telling the story. For many years while the Soviet Union existed I had to live with the Russian side of this history. There were lots of correct things because the suffering was insane, it was millions and millions of civilians who were killed, tortured and starved. On the other side there were stories my mother and my dad told. My dad was sent to Siberia by Stalin. So, that meant I was always doubting anything. Then there is a German story which I could find out while living in Germany for a while.
    Recently I have also heard the American story and that is quite other story than the previous ones.
    I some time back had gotten the tiny booklet “Mein Kampf” just to figure out how he could come up with all this. I speak German as my native language and obviously Russian because we were made to study it from the age of 6. So, I can compare.
    The only thing one can be sure is this: there is no objectivity in history telling. We tend to take sides. However, we should always remember that history is never a simple and clean text book paragraph. There are hidden parts, a lot of hidden text.
    I can see how North Korea interprets anything their way. It is easy to understand.
    When I hear different stories about wars, I think most people are made to believe in that truth that is most prevalent in the country they reside. For example, I don’t think anybody ever has heard about what Latvians went through. I would love to write a book about that just to honor the memory of my dad who is not with us since 2005.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Inese. Of course you would understand the point I was trying to make. The more I travel, the more I realize that every culture lives in a bubble, and the more I understand the futility of taking any version of a story as total fact. This is also why I stopped watching the media.

  2. A bold adventure. I wonder if you were partially inspired by that great uncle’s experience ? It is not surprising to me that we in the US are viewed as imperialists. Fascinating perspective. And the timing of that failed missile test…wow. My brother was stationed at the DMZ while a Marine, talks often of the level of tension there, an every day thing. Thanks for sharing this one, Julie.

    • Hi Van, the boldest thing about this trip was defying the West’s perception of the DPRK and ignoring the criticism from some people. It’s really one of the safest places I’ve ever visited. And although the people are cold and very defensive at first, most of them warm up very quickly once they realize that you’re not there to preach to or make fun of them. I’m not sure if my great-uncle’s story influenced my decision to go. I really just wanted to see this place for myself…while it is still possible.

  3. Julie, so wonderful to return
    with rich glimpses of humanity
    living in endless militarization & boastful propaganda
    without also having those warm fuzzies
    of perceived peace and bounteousness commodities
    found in so called first world countries. 🙂

    • They seemed to have made the best of the situation. I’m not sure we’re so much happier than they are, as a culture, even with all of our luxuries and perceived freedoms.

    • I tried my best to not contribute to the bombardment of bias that we are subjected to, not just about the DPRK but about pretty much everything. I prefer to let the reader make up his or her own mind, even if it results in a negative opinion of me. There is so much pressure to BE biased nowadays.

  4. I am pretty sure Uncle Paul was there for several months, I think throughout an entire winter at least from what I remember Grandma telling me, but I think the POW camp was actually in what is now South Korea. I will have to ask when I go to Michigan this summer.

    • I just talked to Mom and she also thought he wasn’t held for very long, possibly because they didn’t want to deal with his injuries. Unfortunately, Grandma isn’t the most accurate source of information nowadays, but I’d be interested in hearing what she tells you.

  5. Thank you for this account of a country many people would not visit, or may feel scared to visit. Truth, propaganda, fake news – the lines are blurred and may all be the same thing.

    This has been a fascinating read. I appreciate your visit and account with unbiased eyes. Any bias felt is purely mine. The photo of your guide with a clenched fist speaks volumes.

    PS. A former neighbour of mine was a prisoner of war at the hands of the Japanese in WW2. He never forgave them or wanted anything to do with them. Your comment about your uncle would ring true to many people.

    • What is real? I have my own ideas about what I experienced during this trip, but I left them out of the post, because I want readers to make up their own minds. I was already questioning the stories we’re taught to believe, about anything, but this trip only reinforced my belief that it’s really impossible to trust anybody to tell us the truth about anything. Everything is hopelessly distorted. This is why I shut it all off. I’m tired of wasting my energy.

  6. The DPRK remains as alluring as ever to me, possibly more so having read your account.

    It did conjure images of the Tintin comic, ‘The Broken Ear’ when General Alcazar’s Aide de Camp reminds him they already have too many colonels…

  7. Such an incredible adventure! Having a great uncle who was actually involved in the war, and visiting North Korea decades later when the country is still isolated from the rest of the world must have been a very personal experience, I believe. To be honest, I don’t see myself visiting North Korea in the near future. But your post provides me with a fresh perspective on the country. So thanks for sharing your story, regardless of your sleepless nights there!

  8. Hi Julie. Great essay. I have two questions. (1) Which one is you in that Group Picture of the schoolkids? They all look Korean to me. (2) What kind of jacket does an Imperialist Asshole wear? Were you wearing a Field Jacket?
    Thanks again for sharing your adventures with us.

    • Hi Chuck, Are you joking about the schoolkids? I had my photo taken with the museum guide, but as usual I didn’t post it here. The Western guide was wearing a quilted navy blue jacket. Nothing dramatic. I could have bought a khaki revolutionary jacket there, like almost all of the men wear, but I figured I might be mistaken as a commie if I wore it at home.

      • I had a red beret bearing the hammer and sickle that I found infinitely fascinating in college, simply based on the facts it illicited from others. I was raised in isolation and, upon my freedom, was infinitely amused and intrigued by other people and their reactions to things. I think perhaps the realization that the bubble I grew up in was rife with slants and half truths and misinformation made it easier for me to dismiss accepted perception and see other angles. Why would I believe the most evil countries in the world, by US standards aren’t being defensively vilified, at least to some degree? Is there really any way to deny US imperialism? It’s strange to me to hear that questioned. I can’t believe anyone thinks the US is a friendly big brother, just because we do reside under his wing are free to be fat and stupid and aimless.

        • Those who are exposed to serious betrayals, especially at a young age, are often able to see through a lot of the illusion. Everyone else calls it cynicism or paranoia or now there’s an official psychological term– Oppositional Defiant Disorder is what I think they call it. Oh, to be able to go back to being naive.

  9. It all makes me unbelievably sad, Julie. We can’t get very much farther from each other in our indoctrinated beliefs. One world? Not in my lifetime.

  10. A remarkable insight to an alien world, although no more or less alien than we appear to them I guess. It reminds me of two experiences in the west – 1) The USS Intrepid on the Hudson and the reenactment of the carrier coming under attack – very slick, very Hollywood but in essence no different to what you saw in North Korea. 2) A nuclear bunker in deepest rural Cheshire which displayed the technology of the Cold War operated by dusty wooden dummies – very North Korea 😉 In a civilian role, in the 1970s, I worked with much of the equipment on display and it was alarmingly basic and unreliable. There is much to be said for staying in the dark.

    More frightening than anything else is the museum guide who tests you on what has just been said 😀 – it is reassuring to know that there are other brains like mine out there.

    A fine post, Julie – as ever, you got me thinking.

    • Thanks, Robin. I’ve wondered what they would think if they were suddenly thrust into our world. But a lot of what I saw was not so different. “Anthropology makes the strange seem familiar and the familiar seem strange” Can’t remember the exact author of that quote, but it’s something I’ve always remembered from my Anthropology studies at college.

  11. I share your disaffection for all things political and would absolutely love to venture into his strange place for a look of my own. My favorite parts of your narrative were the descriptions of the tour guides and other people; those alone portrayed the surreal nature of this shrouded country. Fascinating stuff!

  12. Hi there Julie,
    I found the excerpts from the propaganda books really interesting – the detail of Kim Il Sung having a phone conversation with his song Kim Jong Il, having a hearty laugh at the prospect of being bombed and then, perhaps, a chat over football and Dad’s cholesterol is just too outlandish to let go – and your non-judgemental prose is really interesting. We’re so used to see our side of the argument (not just in history, but everywhere) that being able to jump from one line to the other can be quite interesting. It reminds me of “Letters from Iwo Jima”, one of the reasons I’d always adore Clint Eastwood despite his political inclinations (the other being The Trilogy). It’s so interesting to see history from the other side of the coin.
    Thanks for this insight, and always travel with a good electric travel moka, coffee withdrawal is bad!
    Fabrizio

    • The coffee withdrawal is my biggest regret. I am still kicking myself for not bringing at least some of those instant espresso packets. They taste bad, but they get the job done. I was so tired that I ended up sticking my foot in my mouth more than once.

      The propaganda is truly impressive. They win a gold star for creative use of the English language for the translations. I’ve got a whole post just on the propaganda planned. The Kim Jong Il anecdotes are something to behold.

  13. As per my usual, I came back a couple of times to read your post. I always like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s take on history. “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” I have been thinking of late about how research is essential. We are easily swayed by opinions that reflect and resonate with our own. It takes courage and determination to see there are many sides. History is fluid because we see it as an afterthought and apply our present-day filters to events that have long past. So much to consider – thank you for another most excellent post.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Research is essential, but it’s also necessary to do research on the research. Who funds studies, etc. It’s a lot of work, and I admire those who really make the effort to find out for themselves rather than just believe what they’re told.

  14. Great post Julie, yes, every country, or I should say every family, and individual, has their own version of History, including ourselves, some years ago wrote a post about it (September 2011)
    History it’s a rationale of maintaining that whatever happened, your side, or yourself, was in the right, and just, and the others were not, a moral justification, not necessarily the truth, but a story to justify what we did, or not, otherwise we couldn’t live with ourselves, and have a clean conscience, even if we twist the “facts” in order to do so, I have read too much so called History, to not become an skeptic about claims of validation, every individual try to justify their version of events.

    Thank you again for this great post of yours. 🙂

    • You have brought up a very good point- the moral superiority. How many have been hurt in the name of self-perceived benevolence? It takes a strong individual/group/government to admit to being wrong and apologize.

  15. Hi Julie,

    I’m grateful to have read this as well as your previous post on North Korea; I admire your courage to go and find out for yourself and the way you have shared these glimpses with us. Reminds me of a teacher who had a big impact on me in high school. He was my physics teacher and it came up one day that he had been in Vietnam. We grew quiet and wondered horrors he may have witnessed–he said, “Oh no, I was biking. I wanted to know what was really going on so I went to Vietnam during the war to see for myself.” He was a really interesting teacher and one of our favorites.

    I’m reminded of a story I heard on NPR just this past week I think, where a US academic who is an expert on North Korea was trying to describe events through their eyes. He noted how nearly every North Korean act of aggression, as we would call it, was preceded by a US movement that was threatening. The researcher was simply noting we feel perfectly okay about flying over their airspace or parking spy boats off their shores, but imagine how we would feel if a much larger nation was doing that to us…

    You make your point well about the number of sides there are to a story, and it’s at least two, probably countless. Always a pure joy to read here.

    Michael

    • Hi Michael.
      I’m kind of shocked that this academic was allowed to speak in the media. Looking at something through the other side’s eyes? Wow. Every year around this time, the media tries to show that Kim Jong Un throws some random temper tantrum and is ready to start a nuclear war. What they fail to mention is that this is also the time of year when the US conducts exercises with tens of thousands of troops, in South Korea, simulating a ground invasion of the North. How would the US feel if Russia was doing that in Canada? This is not to say that Kim Jong Un is a good guy, but I’ve read a lot of their propaganda and listened to North Koreans speak about it, and they say that any military action will be in self-defense. If you delve deeper into the sensationalist reports in the US media, you might find a sentence buried in there about it, but most of the time it’s conveniently omitted. Thanks for bringing that up and also sharing the story about your teacher. It must have been a challenge entering Vietnam as a civilian at that time.

  16. Hi, what a great read. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. I’m looking to visit North Korea while I stay in South Korea. Any tips on where to begin would be appreciated. I looked up and found some tour group that does train tour around DPRK. Which tour did you take if you don’t mind sharing that information?

  17. Fascinating account of your trip to NK, bringing to life, through guided museum tour, the Publeo story and victory of Koreans against onslaught of American imperialism. I have been to SK, though not to NK. and have seen glimpses of the patriotic fervour of Koreans in their strong endorsements of all things Korean, be it cars or consumer products. The atrocities of imperialism as highlighted brings to mind the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by a British-Indian contingent under the command of colonel Reginald Dyer resulting in loss of over a thousand civilian lives. The savagery of British imperialism thus exposed caused countrywide outrage and marked the beginning of the end of British rule in India as it triggered the protracted struggle that speeded the ouster of British in a little over two decades thereafter.

    • Thank you, Raj. I haven’t been to South Korea, but I have heard about their love for their country. I’m sorry to hear about your own country’s past struggles. I doubt there’s a place left on Earth that hasn’t felt the pain of imperialism. If only we could be happy with what we have and leave other people alone.

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