Between April 13 – 20 2017, the Official Delegate of the Korean Friendship Association in Ireland, Andreas Engström, participated in the activities and celebrations in and around Pyongyang, by invitation of the Korean Association of Social Scientists (Kass). Delegates from all over the world participated in this gesture of international solidarity. During the visit, the delegates participated in seminars, as well as more casual activities, such as games and sports activities. On April 14, the delegates participated in great seminar in the People’s Palace of Culture, hosted by the International Institute of the Juche Idea.
On April 15, Day of the Sun, one of the most impressive parades the world has ever seen took place. Millions participated from all walks of life, and both civilian organisations as well as branches of the Korean People’s Army participated in this great demonstration of the and unbreakable will and power of a united people. The ground were literally shaking when the Korean masses were marching across the Kim Il Sung Square. Present were also Marshal Kim Jong Un. The might of his appearance that day and the love shown by the Korean people and the international guests were of undescribable measures. In the evening, a banquet was hosted for the delegates as well as party officials. Present were also the Kim Ki Nam, Vice Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Over the week you could see Koreans all over Pyongyang in a festive mode to celebrate the Day of the Sun and the good mode of the people was easily picked up by anyone present. Later that week, another banquet hosted by the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, also took place. Present were also the chair woman of the Committee, Kim Jong Suk. Every single Korean you’d get to see were all among the most humble of people you can ever imagine, and their love for the people as well as international friendship is something they deeply care for.
One of the highlights of the stay were the visit to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. People in the West usually have no understanding of atrocities committed by the US-imperialists in countries, even though they are still today committing these crimes against the peoples of the world. By visiting the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, you’d get to realize the evils carried out by the US-imperialists against the Korean people, where everyone was a target, including children.
Okryo Children Hospital was also a great place to visit. It doesn’t come across as a hospital, as it is covered in nice colours, playgrounds and cartoon characters. Even Disney characters are imaged on the walls of the Okryo Children Hospital, and apparently, Disney movies are popular among children in the DPRK, not unlike other countries. There’s even a school in the hospital for children that have to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time, so the children won’t fall behind in school.
The most fascinating part of Pyongyang though is not only a truly happy people or the dynamic nature of the city, new apartments and other building projects – all provided to the citizens for free – but the harmony of the people. The absence of homelessness and different addictions related to drugs etc., those things we’re taking for granted in the capitalist world, weren’t present. To go to Korea and experience the socialist, classless society and the single minded unity of a united people is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, for anyone. To experience a highly developed socialist society, where the people are working together for the wellbeing of the whole people, and not only for the wealth of the 1%, is the most incredible and utopian, yet still realistic and scientifically proven of all societies of the world today. To experience a society free of racism and discrimination and where international solidarity is constantly practiced and continuously developed, both in People’s Republic of Korea’s domestic and foreign policies, is truly encouraging for all progressive peoples from all over the world.