Lifestyle & Belief

Slow news day in North Korea?


North Korean students play a game of 'go' during their class at the Mangyondae school children's palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, as portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (top R) and his late father Kim Il-Sung (top-L) look down from the walls.



North Korea's daily propaganda feed seldom disappoints.

On any given day, you are apt to learn which industrial plant has been treated to a Kim Jong-Il visit and how the imperialist warmonger America is taunting Pyongyang.

The most recent bulletin announces a new showing of the opera "Sea of Blood," an uplifting performance for sure.

But sift through the bluster and odes to factory workers and you'll find descriptions of life in everyday North Korea.

The greatest batch in my recent memory (yes, I check the bulletins almost every day) arrived on July 4. On that day, we learned that:

Shaved Ice Enjoys Popularity in Summer

July 4 (KCNA) -- Shaved ice stalls in streets of Pyongyang attract many passers-by in summer days.

They serve shaved ice with boiled red bean, tomato, strawberry and other fruit juice. Some people take shaved ice along with Eskimo pie and bread. Kim Sun Hui, a 56-year-old woman living in Taedonggang District, told KCNA that shaved ice is the best to take outdoors in sultry days and that she favors shaved ice with boiled red bean. Shaved ice stalls add to the summer view of streets in Pyongyang. 

And after the kids are all sated with Eskimo pies and tomato ice, why not work off the calories by rolling the old iron ball?

Ball Rolling, Korean Folk Game

Pyongyang, July 4 (KCNA) -- Ball rolling is one of the Korean children's favorite folk games.

There are two methods in playing the game. One is to roll a ceramic, glass or iron ball into holes on the ground. When a player rolls the ball into a hole, he or she pulls it out of the hole and rolls it to other hole.

And finally on July 4, we learned that Kim Jong-Il visited a women's artillery company in 1995 and bestowed upon them his "fatherly love." 

"His field guidance produced such a moving story as "Coast Artillerywomen and Medicated Cream".

That stirring tale, "Worthwhile Life Under Care of Great Leader," can read here in its entirety.