the ULTIMATE NO!

forbidden PICKINGS from my DPRK DIARY 11.–21. April 2011

There is an ultimate NO! beside other NO! and NO’S! in the Kingdom of KIM, an absolute ban on all fotos of “The Eternal President” and his son “My Dear Leader” that are not taken in full size. Pictures or portraits of KIM IL SUNG and KIM JONG IL shall not be photographed in parts. Cuts are forbidden as well as detail shots.

The KIMS live on a "different planet", the oxygen is an inane mix of mystification, paranoia and a bizarre utopia – They are totally removed from the harsh reality of daily life in North Korea

The KIMS cruel reign does also keep their lifestyle away from the screen of DPRK citizens. The inner power circle remains a mystery to the people and the KIM family itself is puzzling and elusive to the man in the street. Several times different people asked us what we knew about the women and children of KIM JONG IL. It was unknown to all of them that his youngest son KIM JONG UN – a lover of heavy drink – was named as his successor – most likely by the military commanders – and should follow in his father’s footstep. When I told them that KIM JONG IL’S second son KIM JONG CHOL was spotted at an Eric Clapton concert in Singapore they said I was lying and when I told them that I read KIM’S eldest son KIM JONG NAM was deported from Japan trying to enter the country with forged travel documents to go to Tokyo Disneyland they stopped asking…

KIM JONG UN was born on January 8, 1983. He was educated in Switzerland, as were his two older brothers. He is the son of KIM JONG IL'S third wife, Ko Yong Hi, a former dancer. She died under suspicious circumstances in 2004 – officially of cancer.

The absolute authority to exert power and the fear that surrounds the military dictatorship keeps everybody’s interest in check.

PYONGYANG – “City under Water”

Revolutionary Wake-Up Call

balcony PICKINGS from my DPRK DIARY 11.–21. April 2011

Pyongyang is a “No-Today” city, a city without “Gegenwart”.

The aura of The Eternal President" who died of a heart attack in 1994 shortly before a meeting with the president of South Korea, is engulfing North Korea

View from the balcony of the Grand People's Palace

The architecture of the buildings, the monuments, murals and the mental state of propaganda, dominated by the communist party, give the impression of a “City under Water”.

Lost in the abyss of Necropolis

The deeper I dive into this sunken amalgam mixer the more images and symbols appear of KIM IL SUNG’S ever-present personality cult.

The Juche Idea is based on a set of principles by KIM IL SUNG that “man is the master of everything and decides everything”. In fact this hands a blank check to the KIMS to do as they wish.

Grand People’s Palace – though it is called “Grand People’s Palace” – people cannot walk in without permission. They are chosen from their factory or workplace and sent to the Palace after passing ability tests. They have to conform to the strict ideological guidelines of the Communist Party of North Korea to be allowed to learn languages, join the library and read foreign books, specially chosen and translated for them.

From the balcony on the top floor of this huge building made of marble we have an excellent view over Pyongyang and the Central Place. The huge buildings and monuments – some the tallest in the world in size, volume and marble – leave pointless marks.

T

“entering DPRK” by rail

UNCENSORED PICKINGS from my NORTH KOREAN DIARY 11.–21. April 2011

On my upper bunk bed of Sleeper Car Nr.12 I kept my camera rolling from the Chinese-North Korean border to the capital Pyongyang.

DPRK Railway, from the Chinese border to Pyongyang

These are some shots from my film “entering North Korea”.

Photo from my upper bunk bed in Sleeper Car Nr.12

We are traveling at 30-50km/h, the railcar window is dirty and locked but the landscape is fascinating.

My eyes are glued to the window

Huge rivers, bridges, rice fields. My eyes glued to the window, oxen pass by pulling carts and ploughs, people with shovels cultivating  the field right up to the rail tracks and roadside preparing for the planting season. I see no mechanized help beside one tractor. I keep to myself while I’m filming, the two Chinese business brothers in our compartment are sleeping.
“entering DPRK” was shot on DPRK Railway Sleeper Car Nr.12 from my upper bunk bed and shows uncensored footage from the Chinese border to the capital Pyongyang of North Korea.

He is tilling the soil with his ox close to the rail tracks

It is a train journey full of thought-provoking “Langsamkeit”.

Dry riverbed - view from my upper bunk bed

prison for People with Diploma

I am on the road with my driver

Ali my driver

into the hills of Tehran. Suddenly he opens the window:“Look, this is prison for People with diploma.“ I turn around “you mean for intellectuals? Yes for artists, journalists, all bad people from university.“ Then he continues with a mischievous look: “This is prison for Kharrubi and Mousavi!“ I gasp for air. “And your President?“ Ali shifts gear, we ascend steeply. “My President is very good man, because he is very poor, not have Mercedes before, not have villa in center of City, he has poor background, he understands country people, they like him, he is kind, he takes money from rich people and gives to the poor. We have 30% poor people and 8% illiterates. He is good for the country! When Katami was President, he was nice man but done nothing for the poor. The cities are problem for my President, 70% in Tehran not like him, all cities are like that but cities are not the country! He keeps driving uphill to the cable car above Tehran. The cable car is only running on weekends (Thursday/Friday). We have a gorgeous view of the 14 mio. Megacity.

Letters to God

Jane

Jane

Chris
Chris
Raphael
Raphael
Elliott
Elliott
Ruth M.
Ruth M.
Mickey D.
Mickey D.