The John Travolta of North Korea – Dancing on the Beach

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This guy can move:



The fellow coming into the shot at the end of that one then pulled me over for soju and dancing. To my luck my guide did not know how to use the video function on my camera.

This was the most fun, unscripted moment on my North Korea Victory Day tour. Since I had seen the DMZ on my prior trip, Uri Tours agreed for a reasonable fee to arrange a private excursion to Nampo and the UNESCO-listed Complex of Koguryo Tombs. Like my prior trip, I found the guides to be much more comfortable with a solo traveler, and the male guide was relieved to go back to his smoking when he found I speak Chinese and the Chinese-speaking female guide could do the heavy lifting.

The official stop in Nampo was the engineering feat West Sea Barrage. Walking the hilltop grounds of the lighthouse/exhibition center I heard strains of music from the beach below despite the steady drizzle. The guides agreed to let me go down and we found families enjoying the holiday, splashing in the water, barbequing clams, quaffing soju, dancing without abandon.

So fun is allowed in North Korea, sometimes, in some places.


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I’m appalled you video North Koreans and post it on the net.

The slightest offence, and you don’t know all the little things that may be considered as an offence, might put them and their family in jail.

Rapid Travel Chai

@ralf- that is a good point for debate. I talked with journalists, my guides, my tour company, as well as observing general media practice and there were not concerns about showing photos and videos other than of military installations or certain other government sites.


Did you notice that you were being watched? Upon returning home, your debriefing must have been a fascinating conversation – NOT.


A wonderful counterpoint to your previous videos of N. Korea. Too bad we don’t have the video of your performance.