Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

TrevorLoudon.com

redirecting you there now

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kiwi Students Tour North Korea-Land of Heroes

In May, three Auckland University students, Rimoni Leota (AUSA International Affairs officer), Viadom Piatov (Auckland Uni Political Studies Students Society) and Nick Healy (a member of the NZ/Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Friendship Society) toured North Korea.

Here are some highlights and snapshots of their holiday, excerpted from a Scoop article by Nick Healy.


After months of organisation and belated email exchanges between a North Korean tour company, the New Zealand DPRK friendship society and ourselves (group of three Auckland University Arts students), what begun as a faint idea sometime last year in the Quad was about to happen.

We were accepted and furthermore invited to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or more commonly know round these parts as North Korea. Beginning with a 2 ½ hour flight from Beijing on board a 1960s Soviet jet, our six day glimpse into the ‘hermit state’ took us around Pyongyang, to the DPRK founder Kim Il Sung’s tomb, the Demilitarization Zone, to the ancient capital of Korea; the city of Kaesong.


The Juche tower is well over 100 metres tall

We also partook in some good old fashioned labour on the affectionately named ‘New Zealand Friendship Farm’, talked politics with some ‘Pyongyang officials’ and some highly intelligent students as well as sharing many good memories and conversations with young soldiers and our tour guides. The trip wound up with a 24 hour train ride from Pyongyang to Beijing on board yet another marvel of old Soviet design which dominates the infrastructure in the DPR of Korea.


Upon arriving at Pyongyang airport you realise exactly where you are. The proud, smiling face of the former ‘Great Leader’ Kim Il Sung’s portrait hangs above the only, relatively small and calm terminal. On each side of the airport runway, peasant farmers tend to dry fields which have only recently defrosted after a long, freezing winter.


A view of Pyongyang’s ‘arch of triumph’ with hundreds of young people practising for an upcoming, ‘mass gymnastics’ event.

Baat, a former military para-trooper who spent 22 years of his life serving in the ‘People’s Army’ and Kim a young, fresh faced and chirpy but quiet ex Mig fighter pilot (or so we assumed by his exceptional and often freakishly fast driving) were our guides, our; comrades if you will, for our time in North Korea.


A statue of the 'Greater Leader' Kim Il Sung

What soon becomes obvious when driving through the almost empty streets of Pyongyang is first; how few cars there are, and second; the immense pride the country bestows on its revolutionary history. Monuments that would literally dwarf anything we have ever seen (even in books), speckle the view of the city, monuments to the heroic struggles of the past and victories against ‘foreign imperialists’.

Wishing to make a desirable impression on our guests and being aware of the fact that when visiting important cultural sites in North Korea (as well as any country) one is to show a great deal of respect- we were already wearing suits when we visited a 30 metre, pristinely polished bronze statue of Kim Il Sung.


Bronze statues at a war memorial

At the foot of the statue we lay flowers handed to us by Baat and Kim. Flanked on either side of this impressive statue are 50 to 70 metre long bronze panoramic statues of revolutionaries, war heroes, children and mothers striving forward toward a socialist ideal with rifles, pitch forks, hammers and sickles.

Rising above the confused but intricately designed statue of Koreans marching forward- a strong hand holds a torch; an icon of North Korea, the ‘Juche’ torch. ‘Juche’ being a hybrid of ideas which Kim Il Sung developed as he lead the Korean fight against the Japanese occupation- its guiding principle is self sufficiency and the control of one’s own destiny- as well as maintaining classic Marxist principles.

On day two we are instructed to dress well for a visit to the ‘Kim Il Sung monument palace.’ We don our suits once again and after a short drive though a series of ordinary streets arrive at the beginning of boulevards that were surprisingly well maintained compared to any roads we had seen so far. The manicured streets surrounded by rows of trees with an almost Parisian style to them indicate that we were in the vicinity of the monument.

Facing us from the middle of the palace was yet another smiling face of the ‘Great Leader’ Kim Il Sung; atop was a fluttering North Korean flag. We entered a long corridor and passed through a metal detector which seemed strange to us at first; we emptied our wallets of everything, including wallets, keys and cameras. ‘This place is very sacred; nothing impure must enter,’ being explained to us in a whisper by our young guide- Kim. Next thing we know, our group as well as two Canadian tourists are instructed to walk over a grilled floor contraption with bristles to clean the soles of our shoes, then onto sponges to rinse the soles so as not to bring any dirt into the palace of the ‘Great Leader’.

All this happens while being completely surrounded by polished marble you could almost see your reflection in; everything in this memorial is made of polished marble. We continue on a horizontal escalator for over a kilometre, turn though a corridor and up an escalator until we reach a tunnel like doorway with small fans on either side to brush off any dust (we assumed) that our suits may carry.

We bowed slowly and solemnly and there is really nothing to look at while you walk through the hall but this amazing statue which mimics ivory in its colour. The only noise in the room is the music and the sound of foot steps echoing off the marble walls. To the right of the statue, we entered a smaller room, with black polished marble walls and floor; in the middle lay a preserved Kim Il Sung with a North Korean flag draped over his waist. Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Lenin were pickled in liquid, but as the Korean Leader only passed in 1994, he was preserved in a sealed case with the use of gases and as a result looks almost alive.

Visiting the resting place of North Korea’s founding father was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and it laid the foundations in our minds into understanding how important ‘The Great Leader’ and his ‘everlasting legacy’ is to the North Korean people. The word ‘legacy’ is emphasised because dotted around the city and countryside amongst many other repetitive slogans promoting national unity proclaim that ‘Kim Il Sung will live forever’ in the hearts and minds of the Korean people.




New Zeal Perhaps one of our Auckland Uni readers could ask AUSA, how much student money went towards this great, almost spiritual journey?

24 Comments:

Blogger Heine said...

Exactly. That was the first thing I thought. I hope more information comes forward.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

Fortunately it's a voluntary union, so even if AUSA did fund it, the money comes from profit making enterprises. Of course this is a very poor use of student resources (how many kegs would a trip to North Korea buy?), but at least nobody has to join if they don't like it.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Blair have i lost touch. I thought AUSA had returned to compulsion, or am I thinking of Waikato?

Clint. tried to call you, but the cell phone number I haddidn't work. Email your number to me if poss.

9:25 PM  
Blogger MikeE said...

Auckland is Voluntary, current pres (dan) campaigned on voluntary and won.

I should know - I nominated him for AUSA pres first time around! (and SRC chair).

AUSA isn't going compulsary any time soon, otherwise there will be a few alumni volunteering their time to help out against any compulsion campaign that I know of.

I'll email Dan and find out if student money went that way - I hope not.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course AUSA could have saved money with one way tickets.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Sorry guys, it was AUSA going back into NZUSA I was thinking of.

Correct me if I'm wrong

all university students associations afiliated to NZUSA, except UCSA.

All Univesity associations compulsory except AUSA

1:34 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Have your heard that all Doctors have to join an orginisation, all dentists, lawyers, nurses.

It's a damn outrage!

I am quite happy to allow students to opt out of joining the SU, but then they lose all benefits of being a member, no representation, no access to facilities, no joining sports clubs etc etc etc.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Students shouldn't have to join associations and nor should the other groups you mention. Free association and incentives produces excellence and high standards. Compulsion produces mediocrity and destroys good will.
Why in God's name would anyone see a vrtue in arguing for compulsion, when all the best in life is achieved thru freedom.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonic - what "facilities" are you talking about?

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to go to North Korea some day - although hopefully I won't get the chance to see it in it's current state. As much as I would like to tour around a Stalinist state, I would much rather go there once the people of that country have felt what freedom feels like.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Heine said...

Sonic, brilliant. You have labelled some of the benefits of membership. But if students CHOOSE to not take advantage of these then they have that choice.
If membership was so advantageous then hardly anybody would opt out.

It is very rich that you compare professional organisations with a student union. Both are completely different. Nor can you realistically call a student union "professional".

Trev, the ironic thing is that membership to NZUSA is voluntary.

10:29 PM  
Blogger stef said...

Anon. Tours to North Korea are very expensive and the money is being used to prop up a very questionable regime.

Would you fork over thousands of dollars to tour Nazi Germany? Well then don't visit North Korea.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

AUSA is a voluntary organisation, Trev, thus it's entirely their own choice where to spend the money within the context of your radical libertarian ideology.

Presumably if we were talking about neo-liberal Chile under Pinochet, you would be glowingly supporting the students, right?

2:13 AM  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Oliver, Pinochet was no friend of freedom, but he did not starve the entire population, enslave their minds, prohibit them from leaving and spend fortunes on monuments, statues and a personality cult. I don't believe Pinochet required Chileans to wear badges with his picture on it, have his picture in their homes and get them inspected for being clean - imprisoning and torturing those who didn't.

To compare Pinochet to Kim Jong Il, is like comparing Mohamed Mahathir to Hitler. Petty tyrant who abused power and tortured opponents, but hardly genocidal scale totalitarian.

but hey, if you want to sycophantically defend one of the most hideous regimes of recent history, go ahead.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

As I said they can opt out if they like, I've no problem if some right-wing loony (no offence) has a desire to cut himself off from the rest of the student body.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

No offence taken

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soinc - the problem is they can't "opt out if they like" under the current law which locks in compulsory membership.

The conscientious objection clauses don't work.

So would you support voluntary membership?

12:45 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Scott, I agree with you that Kim Jong-Il is a far worse leader than Augusto Pinochet. I would have rather lived under Pinochet then than under Kim Jong-Il now.

However, if you read my original post, I was noting the irony that libertarians and neo-liberals often defend these guys just because they follow a radical free market economic philosophy, yet simultaneously rail against just as authoritarian regimes that have left wing economic policies.

Thousands were murdered by Pinochet and tens of thousands were imprisoned and tortured for opposition against the regime. A first hand family source, who was doing business for a NZ company in Chile during the late 80s, tell me there were photos of Pinochet in businesses involuntarily...

8:23 PM  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Oliver

I don't doubt it, and I think one of the big mistakes of many on the left and right has been willful blindness to the atrocities committed by socialist and anti-socialist regimes. Chiang Kai Shek was no angel for example, but compared to Mao he wasn't as bad.

I will defend Chile's free market reforms, but liberal economic policies are worth little without personal freedom. China being a similar example.

10:17 PM  
Blogger MikeE said...

FYI: AUSA didn't cover any costs for this (good old VSU) but apparently the University did cover the costs (incl airfares, acomodation etc).

Confirmed by AUSA pres, and friend of VSU Dan B.

Mike

10:35 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

However, Rimoni is AUSA Int'l Affairs officer. He states on the AUSA website that part of his job (paid I presume)involves "organising a delegation to North Korea". Indirect student subsidy, I would say.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

劈腿,劈腿,劈腿劈腿劈腿,劈腿劈腿劈腿,外遇,外遇,外遇,外遇,外遇,外遇,外遇, 外遇,外遇,外遇, 外遇,外遇,外遇, 偷情,第三者外遇話題 外遇發洩 徵信社,徵信社,外遇,外遇,徵信社,徵信社,外遇,徵信社,徵信社,外遇,外遇,抓姦,徵信,徵信公司, 外遇,徵信 包二奶 跟蹤 監控 徵信,徵信社,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社, 徵信社,徵信,徵信, 徵信社,徵信社,徵信社, 徵信社,徵信社,外遇,第三者,徵信社,偵探社,徵信社,偵探社 ,偵探社, 偵探社,偵探社,偵探,家事服務,家事服務,家事服務,家事服務,家事服務家事服務家事服務,家事服務,持久,持久,持久,持久,持久,持久,持久,離婚,徵信社,徵信社,徵信,徵信社,外遇,離婚,劈腿,持久,持久,持久持久持久,劈腿,徵信,徵信社,外遇外遇外遇,外遇徵信社,徵信社徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信徵信社,徵信,徵信徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社徵信社徵信社,徵信社,徵信社徵信社徵信社,徵信社,徵信社徵信社徵信社,徵信社,網頁設計,網頁設計,網頁設計,網頁設計,網頁設計,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社
徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信社徵信社 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信徵信徵信徵信 徵信
徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇外遇 外遇 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題
外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題外遇蒐證 通姦 通姦 通姦通姦 通姦通姦 通姦 通姦 通姦 通姦通姦 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 找人找人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人
尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人工商調查 工商調查 工商調查商業調查抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓姦抓姦 抓姦抓姦 抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓猴 抓猴 抓猴 抓猴 捉猴 捉猴 捉猴
捉猴 捉猴 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦捉姦捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦
捉姦 家庭暴力婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情第三者偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探偵探 偵探 偵探偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探私家偵探 私家偵探
私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探
私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 包二奶 包二奶包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回
婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻 婚姻 婚姻 婚姻
婚姻 婚姻 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚證人 離婚證人離婚證人離婚證人 離婚證人
徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公會
徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信
商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 徵信服務 徵信服務
徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信業 徵信業 徵信業

6:58 PM  
Blogger dgdfg said...

看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,日本料理,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,場地,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,結婚,場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,PMP,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,PMP,證照,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,漢高資訊,漢高資訊,比利時,比利時聯合商學院,宜蘭民宿,台東民宿,澎湖民宿,墾丁民宿,花蓮民宿,SEO,找工作,汽車旅館,阿里山,日月潭,阿里山民宿,東森購物,momo購物台,pc home購物,購物漢高資訊,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,住宿,住宿,整形,造型,室內設計,室內設計,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,住宿,美容,室內設計,在職進修,羅志祥,周杰倫,五月天,住宿,住宿,整形,整形,室內設計,室內設計,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,漢高資訊,找工作,找工作,找工作,找工作,找工作,蔡依林,林志玲

6:30 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home