Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il Dead at 69

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MLW20, Dec 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MLW20
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yup, watching the story on CNN. Reminds me of my recent trip to the DMZ. Wonder what this will change (if anything) in terms of opening the country.
     
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  3. Lufthansa Flyer
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    that should pave the way for Air Koryo to join Skyteam
     
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  4. MLW20
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    I would love to go to N.Korea. What was the DMZ like?
    I've read about a tour where the itinerary is very strict,. You must visit various sites, have a gov official follow you around and you go to the Mass Games. I'd love to do one of these tours, it's got to be interesting.

    This is the tour agency that I had read about- http://koryogroup.com/index.php
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    The most bizarre place I've ever been to. Too late here to go into details tonight, maybe tomorrow if I remember :)

    yes, I have read trip reports about actual visits to North Korea. It's on my to-do list should the country "hang around" for a while. But first i am going to Cuba where ironically our government puts lots of barriers in the way of us visiting and experiencing the country (and system).
     
  6. MLW20
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    Totally true. Cuba is high on my list too. I feel like by the time we are allowed to visit legally most of the charm will be gone. I tried to get on a trip a few years ago but was not going to pay over $3000 for a 7 day trip to do a "volunteering" experience. They are such scams. Volunteering is the front these companies use to get us there legally just to take you on a very limited tour.
    60 Minutes did a great story on Cuba tonight but it was about a protected reef area not so much the country itself.
     
  7. LETTERBOY
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    At the risk of sounding uncouth.... Kim Jong Il can rot in hell. The man was a monster & the planet is better off without him.
     
  8. FlyingBear
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    My favorite quote from CNN: "The son, also known as Kim..."
     
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  9. LIH Prem
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    In related news, N Korea announced that there is now a surplus of womens sunglasses.

    -David
     
  10. cennas
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    :D he was played by a woman in 30 Rock :D
     
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  11. TheBeerHunter
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    My husband and I did a tour with Koryo in 2007. One of the most memorable trips of our lives. The whole thing is just sort of surreal -- like being in a weird other-worldly communist Disneyland, where all of your movements are orchestrated, everything you do is being watched, yet they claim they are happy and life is grand. You spend time walking through parks, riding rides at a carnival that opens up just for your tour group (no locals go there, of course), going to see Kim Il Sung in stasis, go check out propaganda shops, etc.

    We were sure that we were going to feel incredibly claustrophobic having minders with us all the time, but it was actually really interesting. At first, they were a bit stand-offish and very "official" about things and we really thought they were all very brainwashed. But then, because they are your minders and need to keep tabs on the group at all times...they'd join us for drinks in the hotel bar each night. Slowly, a bit more each night (or with each beer!), they warmed up to us. By the end, they were calling us their "brothers" and insisting that we were all really the same inside, it was politics that was keeping us apart, etc.

    The Mass Games are a spectacle not to be missed.

    The whole place was just odd and surreal. When I heard the news this morning about Kim Jong Il, one of my first reactions was a twinge of jealousy thinking of anyone who might be on a tour over there right now, witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of public grief over the death of the Dear Leader.

    It's not cheap, but it really is a place to check out. And seeing the DMZ from the other side, having "your guys" staring back watching you, was downright creepy.
     
  12. DLroads
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    No thank you.
    Besides, I never trust a guy who is afraid of flying and does not have a FF account...
    travel by train? what's next? not having a guest reward account?
    How does he get upgrades and free stuff.?
     
  13. DestinationDavid
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    "And in food news: You've had enough to eat today."

     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    So is Bart Simpson. And he had a bit of a similar haircut and stature.
     
  15. Gaucho
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    I spent one week in North Korea in the mid 70ies (my entire family was invited on a Government sponsored trip)... I was a small child and dont remember anything, but looking at all the photos from the family album is always interesting...
     
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  16. Scottrick
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    Is it wrong to hope that the country stays close off long enough for me to still get a chance at seeing the DMZ? Kind of a perverse tourist attraction.
     
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  17. canucklehead
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    Lil Kim and his Uncle Kim Jang will probably keep that around for a few more years. The only worry is they try to go nuclear to show how tough Lil Kim is!
     
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  18. Scottrick
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    Doomsday devices only work if you never use them. :eek: Dr. Strangelove is still one of my favorite movies. Peter Sellers is the man.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I don't think they'll go nuclear. That would be the guaranteed end of North Korea.

    If Lil Kim isn't just a clone of his dad and in favor of better relations with the rest of the world (or ending the whole thing peacefully), he is not exactly in an enviable position. If he did the Korean version of the Schabowski press conference thing (blasting open the Berlin wall), he'd probably be out of a job and in prison in North Korea somewhere while the military picks another Kim.
     
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  20. NYCAdventurer

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    This is huge, but if the change we see is the branded "change" Obama came up with...we will only be worse off. I too would like to visit N.Korea and Cuba and see how twisted things are in these countries.
     
  21. UA191

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    As a journalist that has done a documentary on North Korea, been there twice and is friends with Lisa and Laura Ling... this news is obviously pretty big. North Korea has such a sense of totalitarianism when you're there. On my last trip in March, I met 5 NK refugees. None of them had ever heard of religion. All of them thought of Kim Jong Il & his father as a super-person & the only reason they were alive. It's hard to believe, but the people don't think their country is half bad compared to "how bad we must have it in America".

    The only reason why Laura & Euna were brought home by Clinton in 09' was because Clinton was the first world leader to call Kim Jong-il after his father's death in 94'. I hope that Obama has done the same.

    As for Kim Jong-un, my (less than expert) prediction is that he will not be able to sustain a regime like his father or grandfather, as Jong-il was unable to 'prepare' him in time. I see the regime eventually deteriorating because of a potential uprising, which almost happened after Kim Il-Sung's death.

    North Korean people are some of the nicest in the world (no, I'm not kidding). They have lived terrible lives under a totalitarian regime, but always find a way to bring the positive out of things...

    I admire them for that.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Uprising Egypt- or Syria-style, or a coup by a part of the current elite to put a better (for themselves) leader in place?
     
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  23. UA191

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    Arab Spring style.
     
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  24. MLW20
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    Thanks for the info! This is a trip I am dying to do although not sure when I will get around to it. Maybe you could do a little trip report about your experience with photos to share at some point with us??

    Also- it looks like we just may have found the cure for world peace.... BEER!
     
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  25. UA191

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    The way that most of the 'backpackers' I met went was through Explore North Korea. They're a chinese agency that only charges about 580 euros per person... a pretty good deal for an all inclusive 4 day tour to the DPRK.
     
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