Living by Juche (Part 4)

Juche or self-reliance is what Koreans lives by. It is a poignant ideology, except it cuts you off from the potential frenemies who feel threatened by the solitary stance it takes.

From the inside, North Korea wants to prove to its people it can remain defiantly independent and fiercely nationalistic without anyone’s aid or patronage. Soviet Union dropped aid support under Boris Yeltsin in the 90s. China is its sole friend and trade partner (the friendship today is on shaky ground owing to the threat of nuclear war).

The DPRK has no friends, yet an army of comrades. That explains its permanent state of militarism and memorials built to commemorate the war heroes.

Wide_open_streets_Pyongyang
Wide open streets and modern buildings – something the DPRK built on its own
Arc_de_triomphe
Arc of Triumph was built as a symbol of resistance to Japan’s imperial army. The monument stands in the heart of Pyongyang and glorifies President Kim Il-sung’s role in the military resistance for Korea’s independence. 
Sickle_hammer_brush_sculpture3
As someone who grew up in a socialist country with socialist leaders honouring the contribution of workers, farmers and intellectuals, this struck a chord of reverence to the three groups
DSC_0338
Yes, there are buildings but we can never mingle with the locals nor can we be invited to their homes.
DSC_0341
Only Pyongyang has tall buildings and yet the streets are free
Leaders
The venerable leaders who lived by Juche
Pyongyang_railway_station2
Pyongyang Railway Station
War_museum_DPRK
The war memorial – that doesn’t ever let you forget war. I have realised that progress can only be made when you are at peace. In the DPRK, you can never forget the war.
War_memorial
Remembering the war heroes
Juche.jpg
And there it is – standing tall and proud: The Juche Tower

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