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参观朝鲜的感觉是怎样的?

参观朝鲜的感觉是怎样的?

原作者:赖安·罗曼丘克 Ryan Romanchuk

译者:consideRay

朝鲜人不认同“北韩”跟“南韩”这样的说法,而且他们认为这样是对他们的一种冒犯。当谈论到与首尔之间的冲突时,朝鲜人会把他们成为“南方人”。意思是他们认为韩国依然是朝鲜民主主义人民共和国(DPRK)的一部分,不过是一直被美帝侵占了。

我不想在其中掺杂我自己的个人意见。虽然有点难做到,但我觉得如果从民族的角度来探讨这些问题会更有意义。我不是说用北韩南韩的说法有什么不好。作为一个朝鲜的旅客,而不是西方国家开始照顾朝鲜当局的感受的代表,我上面说的只是为了解释我使用朝鲜民主主义人民共和国这个说法的原因。

我最近刚从朝鲜旅行归来。老实说让我回答这个问题我也感到很不舒服,这里面有几个原因。我在那里有美好的经历,当地的导游也很好人。所以我也不想在这样一个公众平台公开讨论说他们工作和他们国家的坏话。

我之前参加的是一个四天三夜的官方旅行团,从北京出发,搭乘高丽航空的航班到达,整个行程相当很严格的限制。美国公民如果想要进入朝鲜就只能从中国或者俄罗斯乘坐飞机,俄罗斯的海参崴只在每周四有一班飞机前往朝鲜。其他国家的公民也可以选择铁路前往朝鲜。在出发之前你只能拿到停留朝鲜四天的签证。一般人很少会被拒绝入境,被拒绝入境的一般是“南方人”或者是记者。非常有趣的一点是,在我的美国护照上是没有我进入朝鲜民主主义人民共和国的记录的,他们有专用的册子来记录。

 

印象深刻的经历

我觉得我们的导游应该属于平壤的精英阶层,而且被训练过如何跟“西方人”打交道。我也觉得他们应该知道我们所知道的一切,才能更好地“迎合”我们的需要。所以我以为他们知道我们的观点,也拥有跟我们一样的信息来源。

但实际上我是大错特错了。也许他们是平壤精英和外语人才这点是没错的,然而他们只能每周看一次新闻。我在那里的一个星期中,他们看到的新闻中报道了在利比亚的美帝如何如何(他们根本不知道卡扎菲已经死了),然后有一群走失的野生动物被射杀了。虽然我们的房间里面可以收看BBC,但显然我们的导游是看不到这些频道的。我也不知道他们是怎样防止酒店内部的工作人员看到这些的。在我的旅程当中,我一直坚信如果导游们对我们的感觉越好,我们的旅程就会越顺利。我们只能问一些无关痛痒的问题,比如在拍照之前先问能不能拍。如果不是问关于我们自己的问题的话还是比较容易得到答案的。我记得一个导游问过我这样一个问题:“你以前有吃过披萨吗?”

外国人参观朝鲜的其中一个惯例就是送给导游一份自己国家的礼物。我觉得把一台装满美国风格音乐的iPod shuffle送给我的导游也是不错的选择。但我想了很久,究竟放什么歌进去好呢?(一个代表朝鲜的平壤导游会喜欢什么类型的音乐呢?)最后我想到了美国公告牌单曲前100排行榜(Billboard Hot 100)。事实证明了我的导游除了朝鲜音乐和一些她看过的美国电影的音乐之外的都没有听过。她甚至不知道她看过的美国电影的名字,但其中有一部是关于“一个女孩想要在酒吧里面唱歌和跳舞”的故事。(《女狼俱乐部》Coyote Ugly)吗?)

在驶往非军事区长达3小时的路程中,我有一大部分的时间都在给导游解释不同的音乐流派,比如乡村,饶舌和摇滚这些包含在MP3里面有的。我们共用一副耳机,耳机在播放Eminem和Lady Gaga在2010年最热的单曲,这样的音乐对她来讲的确是不小的冲击。期间她也多次叫我把音量调小,我也挺不好意思的。

第一天白天的行程过后,导游们开始问我们各种各样的问题。这绝对是我们在整个行程中感到压力最大的一部分。其中有一些问题非常直接,而且很难如实去回答他们。“你们美国有很多同性恋么?”“为什么卡扎菲的人民会想要杀他?”“你们之前去过多少个国家了?”我们都会尝试去避开回答这样的问题:问一下路边看到的一个雕像,或者他们主体思想(Juche Idea)的某些方面。不过我也感到很愧疚,因为我知道他们发现了我们在岔开话题,我也感受到了他们对我们不肯开诚布公的失望。

我觉得自己在朝鲜期间犯过最大的错误是:导游们在下班后邀请我在酒店跟他们的朋友一起打保龄球,但我却以睡觉为理由拒绝了他们。这大概是跟导游们坦诚交流的最好机会,但由于去完非军事区之后实在太累了,我们一回到酒店就睡觉了。

在大街上唯一的车子就是我们乘坐的。在平壤之外的地方驾驶会遇到很多的检查点。在开往非军事区附近的开城的一路上都有很多站岗的军人。

 

他们的确痛恨美国

朝鲜最大的一个主题是对美国全方位的痛恨,这在告示牌、纪念碑上等所有地方都能体现到这点毫不夸张。我们看到美国军舰普韦布洛号(USS Pueblo)介绍视频是这样说的:“…所以这就是我们要消灭美帝的原因。”这实在是难以理解。

实际上我们作为美国人,带着友好的目的来参观朝鲜会被认为是“叛徒”,而且我们是带着发现朝鲜的真实状况的任务而来的“怪人”。跟我们交流过的全部朝鲜人(我没有跟平民交流过)似乎都很赞同这个“事实”,而且会非常兴奋地告诉我们关于朝鲜的一切。

 

重新统一

根据我们导游的说法,国家统一是“南方人”和“北方人”都希望的,然而在美帝的干预下不能实现。据我所知,生活在平壤的人民认为首尔的生活水品跟平壤没什么差别,而且这样糟糕的情况都是美帝的侵略造成的。

我们被带到了开城外面的一个军事瞭望台,在那里我们可以看到一堵坚固的墙,那是美帝用来阻止统一的墙。在墙的下方有一幅介绍性的图画,右边写了关于建立这堵反统一的墙所耗资源的列表。一个军官告诉我们这堵墙所耗费的资源应该用来提升朝鲜人民的生产力,但很讽刺的一点是,我们还看到了很多展示金日成的大型花岗岩建筑建构。

他无处不在。他在墙上,在地上,在空中,在雕像中,在报纸上,在电视上。这是西方人对朝鲜其中的一个误解。我们在西方听说到很多关于金正日的事,而且我们错误地把他认为是朝鲜的敬爱领袖。“敬爱领袖”指的是共和国永远的主席金日成。他的儿子(儿子的儿子)永远都不能成为主席,他们只能是“元帅”,这样金日成永远都会是朝鲜的主席。我记得维基百科上称金正恩为“敬爱领袖”,但从我的导游的说法看来,他只是被叫做将军。

我们去参观了金日成的陵墓,我觉得这是全朝鲜最恐怖的地方。参观这个地方的流程让人费解。 我们被带到了等候室,然后我们在地下走了至少一英里,期间经过各种上下的升降机。参观者必须穿得非常正式,而且任何电子产品都不能带进去。他们搜我们有没带记忆卡,相机等一切东西。在搭乘更多的升降机后,我们经过了一台鼓风机,那是用来把我们身上的灰尘和碎屑吹走的。然后我们走到了一条宽敞的花岗岩走廊,里面有一个超大的金日成雕像。我们5人站一排,走上前去瞻仰“永远的主席”,默哀10秒钟,然后鞠躬。我们之后走进了金日成安息的陵寝,在他的南方、西方和东方都已同样的方式给这位“永远的主席”鞠躬。

 

食物

他们向我们提供了非常丰盛的食物,以至于到第四天的时候我都快能生出一个泡菜宝宝了。我们吃了各种各样的朝鲜料理,包裹朝鲜烧烤、石锅拌饭、火锅还有一种本土的特色菜叫“平壤冷面”。我们一顿饭通常会有很多道菜,而且很多时候它们是随着烛光上桌的,因为我们在酒店之外吃饭的晚上几乎都会遇上停电。我在那里得到了几乎全世界最好的服务,我们通常会有三个服务员伺候着,一直在给我们倒啤酒。

 

百感交集

在我旅程的开始和结束时发生了两件最有争议的事情。我在到达平壤之后做的第一件事是搭地铁。那是工作日的下班时间,地铁中挤满了下班回家的朝鲜人。地铁站很漂亮,让我想起了很多典型的莫斯科地铁站。过了几趟车之后,我们在一趟没那么拥挤的车上找到位置坐下了。我们坐下来之后,看到有一个很小的朝鲜女孩唱着歌在我座位旁边经过。这是一个非常特别的经历。

在我们回北京的飞机上,我的朋友亚当旁边坐着另外一个美国人,他在朝鲜停留的时间跟我们一样。他说他是一名美国空军中将,然后他给亚当看了一些他在酒店房间中拍到的照片,那看上去像是窃听装置一类的东西。我在来之前也听说过很多关于这些事情的讨论,而怀疑那里的一切好像变成了一件有趣的事。我觉得它可能只是一种非常特别的顾客服务,就像美捷步(Zappos.com)网站一样,只是少了一些个人隐私而已。我觉得如果那酒店的电梯不是没有5楼的话我的疑虑会减少很多。好像有人去过那里的5楼,然后,就没有然后了,剩下的你们自己想吧。

原文地址:http://www.quora.com/North-Korea/What-is-it-like-to-visit-North-Korea

英文原文:

NOTE: North Korea does not identify with the terms North Korea and South Korea, and they find it offensive when referred to this way. When talking about the conflict with Seoul they refer to them as “the South.” The South is essentially still part of Kim Il Sung’s DPRK but have been occupied by the US Imperialists.

I should have been more clear that I wanted to leave my opinions out of this. Probably impossible to do, but I thought a more ethnographic approach would be more interesting.  I’m not saying you should stop calling North Koreans, North Koreans. My purpose of the above was to explain why I use DPRK in context of being inside of North Korea as a guest, not as an apologist or a demand for the west to start yielding to North Korea’s feelings.

Very sad to get this PM from another Quora member. :*(

You’re a pathetic brainwashed. You practice your shitty political correctness on some slaves which just can’t tell you anything because most likley their punishment would be more severe than anything you can imagine.

Of course there are 2 Koreas, just look up the UN members! Of course it’s OK to call DPRK “North Korea”, since it’s neither democratic nor popular.

I unfollowed you. I can’t stand people with brains and education (which you have) but who insist to turn them off.

NOTE: I was allowed to take any photos I wanted in Pyongyang (that doesn’t mean I did), I was *never* allowed to take photos of military (except the DMZ) nor while traveling from Pyongyang to Kaesong by highway.

I recently got back from a trip to the North Korea. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable to even answer this question for a couple of reasons. I had an amazing experience and our guides were fantastic people. It makes me a bit nervous to openly discuss this publicly in fear of “bad mouthing” their job and their country.

I entered on official tourism for three nights four days flying Air Koryo on the extremely limited schedule in Beijing. For Americans, the only options for entering the DPRK are by air only through China and Vladivostok, Russia, which only operates one flight on Thursdays. Citizens from other countries are allowed to take various train routes as well. You can only get approved a visa four days before your departure. This means essentially flying to China and crossing your fingers.  It is very rare for the average person to get denied. The things that can get you denied include living in the “southern” part of Korea or being a journalist.

Below is my visa just after picking it up at DPRK’s embassy in Beijing. It’s interesting to note that there is no record of me ever going to the DPRK in my American passport, they provided their own booklet. Also, the top right corner you can see the year in the Juche (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juche) calendar. Next year (2012) will be Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday.

 

Things that stood out

I figured our guides would be the elites of Pyongyang and basically have been trained on how to deal with “Westerners.”  I also thought this means they would essentially know everything that we knew to better “accomodate” our needs. I assumed that they knew about the opinions we held and had access to the same information outlets.

I was very wrong. I was probably right that they in fact are elites in Pyongyang, and they have the best grasp of the English language. However, they only receive news once a week. The week I was there, they heard about the US Imperialists in Libya (they had no idea Gaddafi was dead) and that a bunch of wild animals got loose and were all shot. It was pretty obvious that although we had BBC in our rooms, not even our guides had access to this channel. I’m not exactly sure how they controlled this from internal hotel staff. During my trip, I was a firm believer the more comfortable our guides felt with us, the better our trip would be. We *only* asked vanilla questions, always asked permission before taking photos, etc. It was pretty easy to get answers without having to ask our own questions.  I remember when my guide asked me,

“Have you ever had pizza before?”

Part of the custom of visiting the DPRK is bringing a gift for your guides from your home country. I thought it would be really cool to bring my guide an iPod shufflewith music that represented America. I debated what I should put on it (What would be the most valuable type of music to a DPRK guide in Pyongyang?) and ended up with the top 100 Billboard hits. Turns out my guide had never heard any other type of music besides Korean and a little music from some of the American movies she saw. She didn’t know the titles of what she has seen, but one of them was about a “girl who would sing and dance on top of the bar.” (Coyote Ugly (2000 movie)?)

I spent a good part of the three-hour drive to the Network DMZs explaining some of the genres like country, rap, and rock that were included in her mix. We shared earbuds as I blew her mind with the latest Eminem and Lady Gaga hits of 2010. I was pretty sad when she asked me to turn the volume down on multiple occasions.

Yanggakdo International Hotel where all guests stay during their visit to the DPRK.

Our guides Ms. Yu and Mr. Lee on top of the Juche tower overlooking Pyongyang:

After the first day, our guides were asking us most of the questions. This was actually the most stressful part of the trip. Some of the questions were extremely direct and impossible to answer honestly. “Do you have the gays in the US?” “Why would Gadafi’s people try to kill him?” “How many countries have you been to?” We immediately tried to dodge these questions and ask something about a statue we were looking at or an aspect of Juche idea. I feel guilty for doing this because they started catching on to our diversions and I could sense their disappointment that we weren’t being very open.

I think one of the biggest mistakes I made was going to sleep instead of accepting an invite to go bowling with my guide and their friends at the hotel ‘off the clock’. It was probably one of the best opportunities I had to honestly interact with my guides after a few drinks. We were so tired after the DMZ that we crashed hard as soon as we got back to the hotel.

Empty roads

 

The only car on the street was our own. Driving outside of Pyongyang requires constant checkpoints. There are military soldiers just standing along the road the entire way to our trip to Kaesong near the DMZ.

They REALLY hate the US

By and large one of the biggest themes in DPRK is the universal hatred for the United States. On billboards, on monuments, EVERYWHERE. This is not a hyperbole. Watching the informational video on the USS Pueblo (the US spy ship) ended with “…and that’s why we must annihilate the US Imperialists.” Awwwwkward. (found the video!)

fact that we were Americans visiting the DPRK on friendly terms made us “rebels,” and we were the “crazy ones” who came on a fact-finding mission to seek the truth about North Korea. All of the Koreans we interacted with (not once did I interact with a civilian) seemed to really appreciate this fact and were thrilled to teach us about the DPRK.

This was at the USS Pueblo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
I really wanted to get a picture of these kids playing (but I got busted hahaha). The kids immediately freaked out and ran away. Mr. Lee also photobombed my attempt to take a candid photo.

Reunification

According to our guides, reunification was something both the “South” and “North” wanted, but is prevented because of US Imperalist aggression. From what I could tell, citizens in Pyongyang believe that life in Seoul is not different from life in Pyongyang and this horrible situation is due to US aggression.

Outside of Kaesong, we were taken to a military lookout point so we could see the concrete wall that the US Imperialists built to prevent reunification. Below is a painting of said concrete wall. The legend on the right has a bunch of facts basically representing the amount of resources used for this anti-reunification wall. The military officer explained how said resources could have have been used by the Korean people productively, which is ironic after seeing large concrete/marble structures dedicated to Kim Il Sung.

Looking through binoculars at a US Imperialist command post. The two flags are the UN and the South’s flag. There is a good chance that I misunderstood, but I was never able to find anything that looked like a concrete wall. Perhaps the wall was from a former time and now replaced with a fence.

Another command post along the wall.

Kim Il Sung
He is everywhere. He’s on the wall, he’s on the ground, he’s in the air, he’s on (is) the statues, the papers, the TV. This is one aspect of the DPRK that Westerners get wrong or have a general misunderstanding about. We hear a lot about Kim Jong Il in the west and we mistakenly refer to him as the Dear Leader. The “Dear Leader” refers to the eternal president of the DPRK: Kim Il Sung. His son (and his son) can never be president. They are “military generals” while Kim Il Sung will forever remain president of the DPRK.

Update: I noticed Wikipedia refers to Kim Jung Il as the Dear Leader, but impression I got from my guide was that he is simply the general.

This is the Kim Il Sung mausoleum, the single most sacred place in all of DPRK. This is about as close to the dear leader we could get to take a picture. The procedure for this place was nuts. We were taken to a waiting house which we then walked at least a mile underground—going up elevators, going down elevators. Formal dress was required and absolutely NOTHING electronic was allowed. They searched for memory cards, cameras, everything. After a few more elevators, we walked through an “air blower” to remove dust and whatnot. We then got to this giant marble hallway with a GIANT statue of Sung. We lined up five across, walked up to to the Eternal President, paused for 10 seconds and bowed. We then walked into the next room where the body of Kim Il Sung was resting and bowed in the same formation from the south, west, and east sides of the Eternal President.

Kim Il Sung giving a victory speech.

Kim Il Sung smiling at you.

Kim Il Sung on almost every single building you see. When driving in Pyongyang, I could look inside apartments and see the portrait of Kim Il Sung and his son hanging up in clear view.

Below is the birthplace of Kim Il Sung. I can’t remember all the facts we were told about his home, but the local guide did assume that the world is very familiar with his birthplace and well-versed in his writings. She casually mentioned Kim Il Sung’s writings (the constitution?) written as a 14 (18?)-year-old as if it was common knowledge.

I forgot the story behind this apartment complex. Something about a gift from Kim Il Sung to the worker’s party. It was designed to look like a waving flag of Korea. Kim Il Sung personally picked out and planted all of the trees and flowers in this park

My dad leaving flowers for Kim Jong-suk, Kim Il Sung’s mother. I just want to let everyone know that the flowers (€5) were not included in the all inclusive trip. Still makes me laugh to this day.

The DMZ from the North

Looking towards the South at the DMZ. At the time we were visiting, there was no presence by the south except for the hundreds of cameras pointing in our direction. Maybe someone who is more familiar with actual operations could comment on how the DMZ is run day-to-day. I have seen a few movies on Netflix, and it always showed soldiers from both sides always standing guard. Perhaps this is only the case because it makes for a better film. 

Looking off to the right, you can see inside the North’s side of the buffer zone and the DPRK flag. I have heard claims from the West that these buildings in the distance are a facade. The DPRK explained that there was a thriving farming community that now must worry every day about land mines and aggression from the US. I can confirm that I saw many Koreans about in the buffer zone, but I never visited the photo in question.

Food

They fed us so much food I almost delivered a kimchi baby by the fourth day. We had a variety of Korean food including Korean BBQ, bipbimbap, hot pot, and a local speciality called “Pyongyang cold noodles.” Our meals usually included many courses, and most of the time brought out by candlelight as we experienced blackouts almost every night when we had a meal planned outside of the hotel. It was also probably the best service I have had in the world. We usually had about three people waiting on us to make sure our glass of beer was filled to the top.

 

Misc. Oddities
Probably the most controversial stories I have about my trip happened in the very beginning and at the very end. The first thing I did after arriving Pyongyang was to take the metro for one stop. It was just the end of a busy work day and the metro was packed with Koreans going home for the day. The station was beautiful—reminded me a lot of a typical Moscow metro station. After a few trains went by, we found seats on a less-then-full car. As we sat down, there was a very, very young Korean girl singing and reading music across the seat from where I sat. It was a very special experience.

On the plane back to Beijing, my friend Adam sat next to another American who was there the same time we were. He said he was a US Air Marshal and then proceded to show Adam pictures he took of alleged listening devices he discovered in his hotel room. I read a lot of discussions about this sort of thing before going and it’s probably pretty easy to speculate anything just to make things feel more interesting. I just thought of it as *very* high-touch customer service. Think Zappos, with less privacy. I think there would be less speculation if the 5th floor on the elevator wasn’t missing at the hotel. People find their way to the floor… and, well… you can judge for yourself.

 


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