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Hu Jun: North Korea

Release time: 2020-06-01: Source:



In late July 2004, I originally planned to attend an academic conference in Harbin. But I heard that there was another academic meeting in Liaoning, and I planned to organize the participants to visit North Korea. So I decided to change the original plan and want to visit the DPRK. After all, I have never been to North Korea. When I was in junior high school, Wei Wei wrote "who is the most lovable person", which left a deep impression on our generation. I still remember the first sentence of this article: "every day in Korea, I am moved by something, and the tide of my thoughts and feelings is like..." The memory of North Korea was closely related to the people's Volunteers' US imperialism.

However, the world changed drastic in the following decades. After entering the information age, the earth seems to be smaller, as if it were a village, and the communication between the state and the country, the region and the region is increasing. But North Korea is still isolated from the world, like an isolated island in the vast sea. We know little about it. Therefore, I felt a lot of mysterious feelings in my heart.

After more than 20 years of reform and opening up, we heard that Korea is very much like China before the cultural revolution. Human memory is transient and sometimes unreliable. It is impossible to return to China more than 20 years ago, but a trip to North Korea is like crossing a time tunnel, allowing us to experience China before reform and opening up, which is quite stimulating and mysterious to most tourists.

We arrived in Dandong at 6 o'clock in the evening of July 28, 2004. Although it is late in the evening, it should be very late in summer. But when we arrived in Dandong, it was cloudy with rain, and fog enveloped the river. Visibility was extremely low. The organizers knew that we had a strong sense of mystery about the DPRK. Before dinner, we organized us to visit the riverside by boat. Because the boundary line between China and Korea is not in the middle of the Yalu River, our cruise ships can be tightly attached to the north side of the Yalu River. Even so, we can only see more than ten meters away from the riverside. Not only is our curiosity not satisfied, but it has increased a lot. So Korea seems more mysterious to us. I often go abroad, so there seems to be no mystery to me in a foreign country. But North Korea is different. It is wrapped in veil. The more you want to see it, the less you will see it. You let me see. Maybe I haven't seen it yet. But now, the more I see it, the more I want to look at it. So North Korea is more mysterious to me.

On the morning of 29, a dozen of our people took a small bus and arrived in Sinuiji, North Korea, through the the Yalu River bridge. There is no complete set of equipment that the customs should have. After getting out of the car, they have to undergo very strict inspection outside the house, open the bags they carry on the wet ground, and wait for the search. The empty bus did not escape the strict inspection. The inspectors first got on the bus and looked at every seat carefully. Then they got off, bent down, bent down, and looked down at the bottom of the trunk and the car. When we got on the train, the Korean customs officers took our passports and stood at the door of the car. Let's queue up according to the order of our passports and then get on the bus one by one. We have no doubt that we will be allowed to enter the Korean territory. Because of the traditional historical education, I regard the Korean people as friends. The friendship between the Chinese and Korean peoples is not a general friendship. It is condensed with blood. But this time I passed away, but I could not enjoy the sincere friendship that I had hidden in my heart for many years. We have to laugh at ourselves.

But we are lucky. It is said that a group of Hunan tourists have come to the customs of Korea in a long way, but have been mercilessly blocked outside the customs, and do not give you any reason to return home. If you are not allowed to enter the customs, you will not be allowed to enter the customs.

Only from Sinuiji can we travel to Pyongyang, the capital of Korea, from 4 to 5 hours. Because we are foreign guests, so the train we take is better. But even the trains for us "foreigners" look as if they were small trains running through the border towns or deep forests during the cultural revolution. To make matters worse, toilets are all sitting and dirty, so toilets have become an extremely troublesome event.

By train, it is easy to watch the situation along the ground. Often seen is a train parked on the side of the railway. The windows have no glass, and the outer skin of the wagon is shrunk because of its perennial use. It looks as though it is mottled and worn. It was originally thought to be a discarded wagon, but there was a lot of headphones in it. So we knew it was the train they used to ride on.

More than 5 p.m. in Pyongyang. We feel a great sense of luck in our hearts. Before we got on the train, our tour guide told us that the train stopped in North Korea. And once I stop, I don't know how long it will take. I was told that the distance of three hundred or four hundred kilometers in the DPRK would sometimes take 4 or 5 days. My God? I can't believe there is such a thing in the world.

But anyway, Pyongyang is beautiful. Datong Jianghuan embraced Pyongyang, winding through the urban area. Mountains rise and fall in the distance. There are 2 million people in Pyongyang, 58 square meters of green space per person, and the reputation of garden city. The main streets of the city are very spacious and seem to be 100 meters wide. We stayed at the guesthouse on the Datong River. The shape of this island resembles the sheep horn, so it is called "sheep horn island". Our hotel is also called "Yang Jiao Dao International Hotel".

On the four day of the DPRK, we visited Kaesong, the military demarcation line, the 38 line, the Korea Museum, the Wanjing platform, the Wanshou platform, the main thought memorial tower, the Sino Korean friendship tower, the Miao Fragrant Hill and so on. I heard that Korean tourism is like this route. According to convention, the route of tourism should be decided by tourists. What I want to see and not see, of course, should be chosen by me. But the trip to North Korea is not so. The DPRK has decided the tour route for us. For example, to go to Miao Xiang Shan instead of visiting the natural scenery, instead of visiting the "Kim Il-Sung gift Memorial Hall" and "the Kim Jong-il gift Memorial Hall". So we have to visit Wan Jing terrace because it is the birthplace of Kim Il-Sung. We have also visited the "Kim Il-Sung comprehensive university", which is the best university in North Korea, and we are certainly very interested. But the longest time there was when the attendee spoke about Kim Jong-il's study there. So North Korea tours are bundled. In the words of our fellow travellers, the essence of North Korea's visit is to educate us in revolutionary education and in the history of the party.

In North Korea, you don't have to worry about losing or losing your way. Because each tour group will be equipped with two tour guides. Of course, our regiment is no exception. One is a woman, the other is a man. Female guides can speak Chinese quite well, and there is no lack of humor. It is puzzling that the female tour guide introduced the male tour guide, saying that he could not speak Chinese, but he could speak German. In the car and under the car, the general female tour guide is in front, and the male tour guide is broken. One man and one woman, one after another, the whereabouts of our regiment were all under their eyes. Every foreign tour group in North Korea must be equipped with North Korean tour guides, and must be two. One of them is undoubtedly a full-time tour guide, while the other has a special mission. No Chinese, why do you want to be mixed up with us? His mission is very clear to us. So we are not worried about falling behind. As long as you leave the team ten meters away, the tour guide will hint that you are catching up with the team quickly. I tried it once and deliberately fell behind, and the guide signaled to me to catch up. I think their intention is not just for fear of losing, but for deep meaning. There is another thing that confirms my view. A professor of philosophy with us who traveled to North Korea was already over 50 years old. Because of the bumpy journey and low back pain, he suggested that we should not take part in our collective action for second days. On the second day when we got on the train, we all sat on the bus in time except the professor. But the car was late. Later, I found out that two DPRK tour guides were with us, and the professor stayed alone in the guesthouse without anyone taking care of him. As a result, the professor was invited by the North Korean tour guide to come out and endure the pain and go out with us.

During the day, there are always some spare time in the evening. So we suggested whether we could go around the city around the hotel in the evening. The tour guide is not explicitly prohibited, but advises us not to go far. We realize that our actions are actually limited. In a country that we do not know much about, we dare not act arbitrarily. Our activities are restricted to hotels, cars and tourist areas. I have been in Korea for four days and have never had any contact with a Korean outside the tour guide. So Korea is still a mystery to me. Even in Korea, you are still in the clouds. One evening we had dinner in a restaurant. The hotel is in the residential area. After dinner, we walk out of the hotel and have a look around. In North Korea, we have to understand the customs and habits of the local people. So, someone looked at the furniture in the distance to see what furnishings were inside. Some can't see clearly, and look on tiptoe. Because the light is dim, I can't see clearly. Good friends told us that there was no furnishings in the house. From outside, the buildings in Pyongyang are good. During the Korean War, Pyongyang was razed to the ground by the bombardment of US imperialism. So the houses in Pyongyang were built after the war, very neat. It seems that Beijing is neatly dressed than in previous years, and there is no so-called slums.

You can't look closely. The Koreans seemed to be tall, and I looked at them from both sides of the car. They looked dignified and unsmiling. There are many pedestrians in the city, and a few of them ride bicycles. On one occasion, I saw a young man riding a bicycle wearing a T-shirt and writing "new Beijing New Olympics" on the back, feeling very cordial.

The DPRK is very closed, but everything will change and the DPRK is changing too. For example, Sinuiji, which is close to Dandong, has been designated as an economic development zone. Along the way, it can be seen that there are pavilions, shops and shops. It is said that some people in that area can earn 4 to 50 thousand yuan a year, and there are more. It was in Pyongyang that there was a break through. We stayed at the Yang Jiao Island International Hotel, which was built by the French and managed by the Koreans. Such a four star hotel is said to have three in North Korea. Besides the Yang Jiao Island International Hotel, there are also Korea hotels and Miao Xiangshan hotels, which are quite modern. I live in the 47 main floors of the Yang Jiao Island Hotel. It seems that up to 47 floors of guesthouses in Beijing are rare. This shows that North Korea is also quietly changing.

What is even more surprising is that there is still gambling in Pyongyang. Of course, ordinary Koreans are determined not to gamble. It is gambling that they can not enter the hotel to gamble, for the simple reason that they are not rich. Gambling is foreign. The logic of North Korea seems to be that foreigner's degeneration is both right and desirable, and the degeneration of the North Koreans is not and should not be. There are gambling machines, roulette and other gambling machines on the ground floor of the Yang Jiao Island Hotel. Several of our friends have gambled several times. It's just games that come and go, and do not see them sink and fall. In addition to gambling, there are also Bao Ling balls, sauna, swimming and other items. But all the managers seem to be young men and women from Northeast China. Koreans are not afraid of Chinese youth falling and falling on their land.

North Korea is still an agricultural country with fresh air. The natural environment is well protected. The green fields are everywhere, and the green hills are undulating. It is said that there are gold mines under Miao Xiangshan, and some people suggest developing gold mines. Kim Il-Sung disagrees. He thinks environmental protection is more important than economic construction.

Whether traveling by train or by car, it's only a few hours' running along the road, but it's just a crop field, and you can hardly see the woods. Is it because the grain is not enough and the woodland is the farmland? Or in order to prepare for war, there is no woods. The field of vision is so vast that it is not easy to hide. None of them seems to be. I was told that there were plenty of woods, but in exchange for foreign exchange, the plains were cut down.

There is no pollution, noise and impetuosity in industrialized countries. The whole country is very quiet, the pace of life is leisurely, and cars and traffic lights are rarely seen on roads. Our car is free on the road. As long as the car starts, people who are not able to drive can still drive safely on the road. Even in Pyongyang, there are very few motor vehicles and the traffic lights are almost invisible. Because of the smooth traffic, traffic police are also hard to see. There is a big sight in Pyongyang, that is, traffic policemen are often women and beautiful women. Beautiful women have attracted people's attention and put on white uniforms. No wonder in Pyongyang, some drivers deliberately violate the regulations, so that they can have a chance to be close to beautiful female traffic policemen. Koreans also seem to have a sense of humor in life.

Quiet, leisurely agricultural life is indeed yearning and romantic. Too quiet, leisurely but also appears to be lifeless vitality, lack of life pulse. History seems to solidify and terminate. The present North Korea does not seem to have a big gap from the Korean in the 60s of last century. The development of world history shows that the process of industrialization which is noisy, tense and highly rhythmic seems to be an irresistible historical process. It has traveled almost everywhere in the world except for North Korea. Can it go outside the modernization process for a long time? Dandong, China, is a small border town. It is far from a highly developed city in China, but no one in North Korea can catch up with Dandong.

To achieve sustained and rapid development of a country or society, we must find a moderate balance between social control and the full display of the creative ability of the people. Excessive social control will certainly achieve the stability of the country or society, but it will inevitably curb the full exertion of people's creativity and the cost of social development, and the result can only be the stop, retreat and instability of the state or society. Of course, if we pay too much attention to the latter, the society may get out of control. For nearly half a century, North Korea is famous for its strong social control for various reasons. After Kim Il-Sung's death, the situation is still maintained in North Korea. Entering North Korea, you can see slogans like "the sun of twenty-first Century, the admiral of Kim Jong-il". Their guiding ideology is still the so-called "subjective thinking". This thinking is figuratively speaking: the people are the body, the party is the heart, and the leader is the brain. All words and deeds of man are controlled by the brain, of course, and controlled by a special brain. Before we entered the DPRK, the tour guide told us very seriously that in North Korea, no matter whether it is outside or indoors, do not talk in disorder. If you have any idea, it's not too late to criticize after returning home. In North Korea, we feel pretty depressed.

Long suppressed things will surely seek outlets for catharsis. When the car left North Korea on the side of the Yalu River, we spontaneously shouted "long live China".

When I first arrived in Dandong, I did not feel the prosperity and prosperity of Dandong. But at the moment we came back, we all felt strongly about Dandong's prosperity and prosperity.

In the four days of the DPRK, and because of various restrictions, I only had fur contact with DPRK. So Korea is still a mysterious country for me, and more mysterious than before I went to Korea.

(author: Hu Jun, Professor, Ph.D., doctoral supervisor of Philosophy Department of Peking University, member of the degree committee of Peking University, member of Humanities Department, honorary president of Beijing philosophy society, chairman of China Innovation Strategy Committee, and former director of the Central Committee of culture and arts of DPP. 10 monograph, 5 co authored, 1 translations and 193 academic papers were published.

Author:       Editor: Zhangyu
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