North Korea's Holiday Resort and Understanding Kim Jong un's political goals
Reuters News Agency published a North Korean perspective, a little different to most recent reports which focused on this small nations bombs and rockets.
Today's story was about the resort town of Wonsan - a seaside resort in North Korea's where the report claims that the Kim family has a residence.
I'm posting this Reuter's report because it may provide some balance to the way westerners may imagine North Korea.
The main focus (by western journalism) is on NK's nuclear tests and Missile tests and nothing else. That aspect is, without doubt, a matter of deep concern. However, there is a school of thought held by many western scholars is that NK's bombs/missiles are a NK strategy to secure their future. This school believes that the NK elite (and likely down to the middle classes (I doubt that many people can confidently speak for the lowest NK classes ) supports the Kim family's and the Korean Workers Party's policys. But now that they have reached a point where they may feel more secure the government will focus on improving the lives of ordinary Koreans.
This school of thought points to the changes in NK's economy since Kim Jong un's rise to power. There has been a proliferation of small businesses involved in the lowest levels of a market economy. Some of that came out of the famine conditions of the 1990s, a famine that (it is suggested) was caused by bad seasons, but also by the collapse of the North Koreans main support base, the USSR. (which collapsed in 1991). Thirty years on, things look different. New buildings have appeared all over Pyongyang and shops, large and small, area a feature of life. In Pyongyang (supposedly populated by government employees, members of the elite, and the lower levels of workers required to make urban spaces work), people in the streets look well-dressed and certainly not starving. It is also claimed that all along the border with China, the towns and villages have been tarted up. Whether that is a sign of increasing prosperity or merely a way of making NK look better from the location that many foreigners may choose to catch a glimpse of NK life?
Any way - read the Reuters report if you have an interest in attempting to understand what is happening in NK - likely the lasts place where the Cold War Propaganda war still rages.
The beach at Wonsan. The Kim family's answer to the Kennedy family's Hyannis Port or the Trump family'a Mar-a-lago.
If you would like to see more images of Wonsan, try this German language video:
The Reuters view adds some details about the life of Kim Jong un. It is claimed he grew up in this city of about 350,000. Wonsan is the port city where the Russian ship that brought grandfather Kim back to Korea in late 1945 docked.
Here's Kim Il sung (on the extreme right) with some Russian Officers likely sometime in 1946.
And we also know now that Kim Jong un has a yacht, on which he may entertain visitors:
On board what is claimed to be his yacht, Jong un talks with Michael Spavour of the Paektu Cultural Exchange in September 2013.
Well, why not? Here in the US, the county's leader is a nut job who is making life for the lower classes almost impossible, meanwhile, the Dow is hovering just below 23,000 points, so life is GREAT for the moneyed classes and upper middle class. As long as the "right" people benefit, then it's all good!