“I’ll build a good family and devote myself to things that make my country strong”
Pyongyang on the first day of 2018.
A large fireworks show was held along the Taedong River in Pyongyang to mark the start of 2018.
Unhasu restaurant and food stalls lining a street near Pyongyang Station.
I've heard that there are some western films that are permitted in North Korea, what would those be?
Yes, there are some Western/non-North Korean films that are legally available in North Korea. The vast majority are animated films such as the Disney classics, Pixar movies, etc because the government views these as relatively harmless entertainment targeted at children and North Korea has world-class animation capabilities. Non-political Russian, Chinese, and Indian films are also readily available at movie rental kiosks throughout North Korea. KCTV will also occasionally shows foreign films on the weekends for language education, and although not film-related, there is a dedicated sports channel that broadcasts re-runs of La Liga and Premiership football matches nationwide.
North Korea evaluated 2017 as one of the most important and meaningful years in which it has achieved the historical feat of completing its nuclear forces and making it a strong “rocket” power.
Looking back on the year in a December 12 editorial titled “The Socialist Korea, Which Is Advancing With the Power of Self-help, Is Invincible,” Rodong Sinmun (North Korea’s largest newspaper) declared that the country “has surged up high as one of the most powerful nuclear powers in the world, having the strongest mobile intercontinental ballistic rockets, super-strong thermonuclear weapons and strategic submarine-launched ballistic missiles, all of which are made 100 percent on its own and capable of striking all across the mainland United States, the evil empire, as it pleases.”
In addition, the state newspaper praised the state’s economic achievements: “Raising the banner of byungjin, North Korea has achieved a strong economic growth while taking a series of great victories in its national history amid the most severe sanctions and blockade.” The year 2017 is, it asserted, a year in which North Korea has “exhaustively showed off the strength of its self-reliant economy and its potential for unlimited development.”
According to the article, North Korea has further perfected the technological foundations of its self-sustaining economy and its self-sufficient economic structure and achieved a remarkable increase in production in every sector, based on its own strengths, technologies and resources. “Even in the midst of unscrupulous sanctions and devastating natural disasters, the number of units which have achieved their annual targets in the key sectors of the people’s economy has increased dramatically and a breakthrough was made in grain and fruit production.”
In relations to economic development, the state media boasted the “great strides” made in science and technology, in particular inventions and research achievements that can contribute to strengthening the self-reliance of the economy and facilitating production, including the introduction of high yield crops.
It added that the country’s capacity for self-help has grown stronger, noting that prospects have brightened in all sectors for the implementation of the five-year strategy of national economic development. “Our ability to self-rehabilitate is stronger than the sanctions pressure of hostile forces, and the last victory is for a socialist Korea led by the great party,” the newspaper asserted. Moreover, it encouraged the readers to make greater miracles in the New Year when the North Korean regime celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation.
This insinuates that, in 2018, North Korea will adhere to its economic development strategy led by science and technology and focus more on making economic accomplishments as its regime turns 70.
– The Institute for Far Eastern Studies
Dancing in front of Yi Seong Gye’s villa in Hamhung, North Korea.
Yi Seong Gye was the founder of the Chosun Dynasty in the late 14th century and is credited with safeguarding Korean culture from rival Yuan and Ming Dynasties in China.
Newly built Ryomyong Street (Dawn Street) in Pyongyang, North Korea. The neighborhood was developed with green, energy-saving architecture principles and as a result, there are over 250,000 sq meters of garden vegetation in rooftop greenhouses and window gardens. Solar panels and geothermal systems have also been installed on over 122 buildings and are used for lighting, heating, and cooling.
A ceremony took place in Kim Il Sung Square to launch a new batch of Sungni trucks, Chollima-804, and Chungsong-122
tractors. The design and serial manufacturing processes
of these new vehicles were finalized and set up earlier this year.
North Korean MiG-29 pilots scrambling in response to American and South Korean air activity near the DMZ.