My great weakness is collecting t-shirts with socialist themes. So I could not help myself on my first trip to the DPRK (North Korea). The first is innocent enough:

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See you in Pyongyang – as one does. Innocent enough. Yet I did find that in my accommodation building in Beijing there were a good number of South Koreans. From time to time they gave me puzzled looks, since of course they knew what the flag meant, if not the welcome.

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This one has a bit more bite, since Panmunjom is the village at the border of the demilitarised zone where armistices were signed, security is high and northern Korean and American soldiers face off against one another.

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The message is clear enough: I have seen the story from the northern perspective, down to the deep desire for reunification:

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However, this is my favourite:

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Take me to paradise – Rakwon being the last station on the east-west route of the Pyongyang metro.

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The shirt comes with a helpful map on the back and list of stations – should anyone require that information.

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The people in the DPRK liked this shirt best as well, stopping to look, ask questions, study the map and discuss the shirt intensely.

I also have quite a collection of books. At the moment I am reading Anecdotes of Kim Il-Sung – great bedtime reading. Some of them may appear here soon.

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