Oct 22 2009

North Korea: U.S. Imperialists visit Moranbong Park where an impromptu dance party with Pyongyang locals ensues

by in Asia, North Korea

After completing our obligatory visit to the Mansudae Grand Monument, we were off to the nearby Moranbong Park. Since it was a national holiday in North Korea, the park was full of Pyongyang locals enjoying one of their few days off. They were all gathered in circles, grilling meat on small barbecues, drinking beer and soju, and singing folk songs. There were several elderly women who had setup a table and were selling squid jerky, popcorn, beer, and, surprisingly, cans of Coke.


One of the pavilions in the park


Family posing for a photo

Our guides were incredibly relaxed at the park and allowed us to wander around and mingle with the locals. Since none of them spoke English, however, there wasn’t much conversation, just a lot of gesturing, nodding, and grinning. Asking permission to take a photo would inevitably end up with you being invited to sit down with them while they shoved meat in your mouth and handed you shots of whatever moonshine they had managed to acquire. Overall, an incredibly hospitable group of people.

One woman started banging on a drum she had brought along, which prompted one of the men to get up and dance. He was quickly joined by the other members of the group, who started grabbing random Americans as dance partners. We had suddenly found ourselves in the midst of an impromptu dance party.


This guy was absolutely hilarious.


I have absolutely no idea what I am doing here


The lady on the right grabbed me and twirled me around about 50 times. I am embarrassed to say that she completely wore me out. I blame the jet lag.

Our dance party attracted a rather large group of locals who looked on bemusedly as we tried to mimic the dance moves of our Korean partners. I’m glad we could provide them with a bit of entertainment.

More photos here. Video will be posted eventually.

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5 Responses to North Korea: U.S. Imperialists visit Moranbong Park where an impromptu dance party with Pyongyang locals ensues

  1. From Richard:

    Your success with the dance-off method brings to mind a number of alternative scenarios for high-level U.S.-NK diplomacy, including sending the Black Eyed Peas to Pyonyang rather than Amb. Bosworth and getting Obama to load up another iPod.

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 3:11 am #
  2. From Lindsay:

    Agreed. If only the State Department would think outside the box more often this whole nuclear issue would be resolved quickly!

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 11:17 am #
  3. From Margaret:

    Amazing. At least their freedom of movement is not 100% restricted there. Free your ass, and your mind will follow. Go people-to-people diplomacy!

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. School in the DMZ / Yankees in North Korea / Potemkin picnickers | At Home In The Wasteland - November 1, 2009

    […] article was rather timely, as over the past few weeks I’ve had several friends ask me if our “impromptu dance party” with the Pyongyang picnickers was really that impromptu. My gut feeling is that it wasn’t staged (and there were several […]

  2. North Korean dance party at Moranbong Park | At Home In The Wasteland Travel Blog - November 8, 2011

    […] finally, here is the last of the footage I shot in North Korea. This was taken at Moranbong Park during North Korea’s national independence holiday. With plenty of beer and meat on the […]

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