Friday, April 16, 2010

A trip to the gift shop, North Korean style.

 Ok, so I was lurking around the internet the other night, kids in bed with glass in hand (as you do) when I came across the official Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea website (the ONLY North Korean website 'official' or otherwise I might add). Regardless of your political beliefs it's a really interesting place to visit and I lost a good hour looking at pictures of vigorous, straight-limbed youth in uniforms, young girls smiling in traditional costume, children waving and enormous parades of people all marching in time. I had a bit of a chortle to myself when I read some of the essays, and the article on the 'reunification' of Korea was well, enlightening.

All this is good and well, nothing out of the realm of what you would expect from a North Korean conduit, right? Everything was pretty much as you would imagine it to be, that is until I stumbled across the 'Official' Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea GIFT SHOP! That's right, a gift shop and quite a well stocked one at that. Run by the Korean Friendship Association, it's a one stop shop for all your propaganda needs. T-shirt's, mug's, laptop bag's, totes (and my favourite) posters, bucket loads of them! I felt like a kid in a candy store, a one-flavour-for-all; if that flavour was cabbage, candy store. An old house mate brought a bunch of similar Chinese propaganda posters back from a holiday and I've been in love with their anti-capitalist, Yankee, bone crushing images ever since, in a purely post ironic way of course ;) 

I come across copies (and the odd original) of Russian & Chinese propaganda posters fairly regularly, but not a lot of stuff actually makes it's way out of North Korea so I was a bit excited to find that I could get them directly from the source and at quite a reasonably priced too! Of course I would never seriously consider purchasing propaganda from Kim Jong Il's gift shop. Although I find the irony palpable; Communists, capitalising on Communism by selling baseball t-shirts emblazoned with anti-American, anti-capitalist sentiments back to the people of who it is most afraid.... you'll be happy to know they accept American Express.

Stop! That official Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea souvenir mug still has a security tag on! Thank You, have a nice day!


  1. How absolutely hilarious. The things you find on the internet!

  2. I am both perturbed and piqued!

  3. They accept American Express! You have got to be kidding! What a find! What a crazy world... hehehe.


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