Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Library Week: North Korean Libraries

Contrary to what the title may cause some to speculate, I have never set foot inside of North Korea. There was a time in the mid 2000s when both North and South Korea were on more amicable terms and in addition to increased goods trading between the two countries, there was also special economic zones that included opening up limited tourism to South Korean citizens. Not surprisingly, after a tourist was shot dead in one of these special tourist zones, things started falling apart. Trade decreased. The tourist visitations by South Koreans were shut down to a grinding halt, and after the sinking of a battle ship and an assault on a South Korean island, that was the last straw. My biggest regret was not taking advantage of a trip to North Korea when it was more feasible to do so at that time.

Anyways, in spite of what anyone might think of North Korea and it's leadership, they do have some pretty breathtaking libraries.

Image credit: Mark Kociejew

This is the Grand People's Study House, and it was one of those places one could have visited if they were fortunate enough to sneak a tour during the friendly years window of opportunity (2005-2008). Since I was not one of those lucky people, I invite everyone to read about this unusual and interesting library through the blog of Marc Kociejew here.

No comments:

Post a Comment