Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS -

his son and heir, Kim Jong-il, come into view. We are beckoned for­ward and in­structed to bow “in re­spect”.

Among vastly ex­trav­a­gant gifts are more sub­tle sug­ges­tions that this is a place be­long­ing to an al­ter­nate re­al­ity.

A let­ter of sup­port to Kim Jong-un from US musician Pras Michél, founder of R&B band the Fugees, is given promi­nence.

And in an­other cor­ner, un­der the ban­ner UK, is the signed Wi­gan War­riors rugby league jersey and ball, sent in 2014 by the UK arm of the Friends of North Korea.

Our guide tells an out­ra­geous story that US Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, af­ter meet­ing Kim Il-sung in 1984, re­turned home and “told the Amer­i­can peo­ple that Kim Il-sung was a greater leader than all of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, Jef­fer­son and Lin­coln”.

Then our min­der bizarrely turns to us and says: “Do you be­lieve in the im­pos­si­ble?”

As we push open an­other huge door on the third floor we en­ter a gi­ant room with a twin pro­pel­ler plane – a gift from Rus­sia in 1958 – perched in the cen­tre.

Our guide sug­gests that the plane flew into the room to land... rather than be­ing as­sem­bled right there.

But then this is North Korea, a land where the lines are of­ten blurred be­tween re­al­ity and fic­tion.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.