The Korea Society hosted former UK Ambassador to North Korea, John Everard, to discuss his time in Pyongyang and the release of his book “Only Beautiful, Please”. Ambassador John Everard lived in the capital city from 2006 to 2008, and outside of his official duty, spent his time interacting with North Koreans. His book takes a different approach in depicting North Korea, by showing the human dimension of ordinary citizens living in Pyongyang. Granted, this dimension only showcases the lives of roughly 3 million, out of the 23 million people who live in North Korea. Foreigners are allowed within a 35km radius of Pyongyang, and Everard took every opportunity to visit and document within this area.
KEI’s Chad O’Carroll recently interviewed Dr. Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University on the prospects for economic reform in North Korea and reunification. Dr. Lankov is scholar of Asia and a specialist in North Korea. Part 1 of the interview focuses on the likelihood that the new regime in Pyongyang will undertake economic reforms. Part 2, to be published next week, focuses on the prospects for reunification.
SHANGHAI - Officially billed as the first China-North Korea co-produced film during more than 60 years of the neighboring countries’ diplomatic relations, dance drama Meet in Pyongyang made its mark at the Shanghai International Film Festival by offering a glimpse of life in present-day North Korea, and attracted the interests from buyers in South Korea, Japan, and Europe.
A video of I am a Flower Bud (see previous post).
I am a flower bud, a flower bud
Shall I bloom for the spring winds?
Shall I bloom for the honey bees?
Oh no, no. I bloom for the love of the leader.
See here for a video performance of this song.
-P’yongan Society Journal, June 15th 2012
 Information Center on North Korea: http://library.unikorea.go.kr
 For the full Korean lyrics, see: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kimno_souko/10950439.html
 Korea Publications: http://www.korea-publ.com/
Bakeries in North Korea? Love North Korean Children has set up bread factories in Rajin, Sangbon and Pyongyang to help feed North Koreans in a direct and practical way. Two more factories are due to open in 2012. The group’s overall objective is to open 26 bread factories: 1 in each major district of North Korea. NK News recently caught up with founder George Rhee to learn more about the interesting project. (NK News)
Please also see the website of Love North Korean Children.
The Korea Society hosted a gallery opening for its newest installment entitled “Feast or Famine: DPRK Agrarian Posters from the Zellweger Collection”. The collection consists of 23 North Korean propaganda posters gathered by Katharina Zellweger during her 5 year stay in Pyongyang. While there, she worked as director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and spent her weekends purchasing over 100 posters, etchings, and wood blocks depicting the DPRK’s desired state of reality. (NK News)
Another excellent article by James Pearson
An excellent article from Gabriel Mizrahi at the Huffington Post on comedy and humor in North Korea. His description of North Korea humor as “Self-conscious and a bit immature, perhaps, but funny and endearing — a celebration of the mundane and those human universals, including marriage, love, and the corresponding anatomy” is spot on, as is the assertion that “Dick jokes, it turns out, are huge in the DPRK”. I’ve heard more than a few of these from North Koreans. I wonder if Lonely Island’s Dick in a Box has made it to the DPRK yet?
The best part of Mizrahi’s article has to be the following:
I asked another of my guides, a porcelain face in her 20s, to tell me her favorite joke.
“OK,” she said, giggling. “There is a boy, and all day he is saying that he has to pee, so his mother tells him, ‘It is rude to say you have to pee. If you have to pee, just say you have to whistle.’
“That night the boy wakes up because he has to pee. So he wakes up his father and he tells him, ‘Father, Father, I have to whistle.’
“And the father says, ‘OK, but do it quietly in my ear.’”