When our tour group arrived in North Korea, I was a bit surprised to learn that in addition to our driver and three guides/minders, we would be accompanied by a cameraman who would be filming our entire trip. At first I thought this was for propaganda purposes (“Tune in tonight at 7pm, dear comrades, to see footage of American Imperialist bowing before the “Great Leader”!) but the actual reason was much less sinister. On our last night in Pyongyang the cameraman showed us some of the footage he shot and informed us that we could purchase DVDs. Of course, I had to buy one. Where else but North Korea do you get a DVD of your entire trip, complete with the government approved narrative and incredibly cheesy music?
After much trial and error (was having a bit of trouble with the audio track), I finally managed to rip the DVD and cut some footage from it. For those of you who have complained that I’m a biased westerner (yes, I’ve already received e-mails insinuating as much) I’m happy to bring a bit of balance to my narrative of the trip by presenting the North Korean version. Over the next few months I’ll be posting more footage from this DVD. The footage from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)/Panmunjom is especially interesting.
This first clip is the intro to the DVD and footage from our visit to the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang (which is basically just us taking lots of photos).