Thursday January 24, 2019

North Korea launches a new over-seas project : A museum in Cambodia

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Siem Reap Province, Cambodia: Trailing towards one of Asia’s most iconic tourist destinations, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Temple complex, one will now come across another surprise lying in wait for them.

https://youtu.be/3W__Ks89Y9U

And it is the newly inaugurated The Angkor Panorama Museum, which is funded and produced by Mansudae Art studio, undoubtedly the most prestigious in all of North Korea. The rooms are unfolded in a 360 degrees angle which will show the eyes an all-round display of seamlessly glowing 3D structures crafted in a style of 2D paintings. The scenery depicts the historical era from the Khmer Civilizations, one that Cambodia hold as its golden period.

As astonishing as it may sound the artist, the plans and the whole design was laid out and borne by the nation of North Korea. Mansudae Art Studio declares it as their one of the largest over-seas project and had already invested more about 26 million into the Museum. After the cost has been recouped by the studio, the rest of the revenue will eventually pass entirely back to the Government of Cambodia.

Mansudae has established over a thousand art including statues all over North Korea like the one of its supreme Communist leader Kim Jong Il and also abroad like the construction of Namibia’s New State house. Though not everyone is happy with the decision like Koryo Studios’s Nicholas Bonner, who mostly deals with the East-Asian galleries, is of the opinion that the deals of such kind are more about commerce and propaganda.

While some from the Human Rights groups feel that the museum is acting itself as an exponent of one of the world’s most depressive regimes.

On the other hand, the museum authorities are hopeful that such comments will not deter the masses from visiting and appreciating the art that the museum offers. (The video is brought to you by NewsGram in collaboration with Board of Broadcasting Governors.)

Next Story

Convenience Store In North Korean Prison Exploits Convicts, Family Members

Prison authorities are failing to address the growing numbers of prisoners suffering from illness and malnutrition at Kaecheon, the source said.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, Sept. 16, 2017. VOA

Guards at a prison camp in North Korea have recently enlarged a convenience store attached to the facility, pressuring inmates’ relatives to spend money there to purchase food and medicine formerly brought in for free, sources in the country say.

The new store at the Kaecheon Correctional Labor Camp in South Pyongan province was opened at the end of last year following a surge in the prison’s incarceration rate, a source in South Pyongan told RFA’s Korean Service.

“The store is now crowded with visitors each day, and is being used as a way to exploit family members of the inmates and suck the money out of them,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Korea, Missile

“They are not allowed to bring in food or other necessities, so they are forced to make those purchases from the convenience store,” the source said.

Employees at the store are family members of the prison’s officials, the source said, adding, “And they abuse their authority by selling things like alcohol and cigarettes at much higher prices than they could get by selling them at street markets” outside the facility.

“Visitors are afraid that their loved ones inside the prison could suffer badly if they complain about the ridiculous prices, so they reluctantly make their purchases at the convenience store,” he said.

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A train transporting dozens of South Korean officials runs on the rails which leads to North Korea, inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea. VOA

Prison officials also pressure inmates to ask family members visiting the store to buy expensive items such as solar batteries, razors, office paper and other supplies, “falsely claiming that these things are needed for common use in the facility,” the source said.

Severe conditions

Inmates who fail to deliver the demanded goods are often beaten or receive other kinds of punishment during bed-checks at night, he said.

Also speaking to RFA, a source in Ryanggang province said he had gone to Kaecheon after hearing that his brother, an inmate at the prison, was suffering from malnutrition there.

“When I arrived, I was told that visits were allowed only once per quarter, and they refused to allow me into the visitors’ room,” the source said, also speaking on condition he not be named.

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A prison camp in North Korea’s South Pyongan province is shown in an undated photo., AsiaExpress

“I got frustrated, and argued with them when I was told that I should just buy food at the convenience store and send that in,” he said.

“I couldn’t bear their attitude which cares only about their business dealings at the store, while they reject visitors’ requests to see their family members inside the prison, so they can hide the severe conditions at the facility and stop the spreading of rumors about it.”

Prison authorities are failing to address the growing numbers of prisoners suffering from illness and malnutrition at Kaecheon, the source said.

Also Read: Human Rights Situation in North Korea Needs Reforms

“Instead, they would rather call up the inmates’ families and demand that they bring in medicine and food.”

Inmates’ families can now help save the lives of their loved ones in the prison by sending in a mixture of corn flour, sugar, and oil put into a meal, RFA’s source said.

“And they can do this only by purchasing these things directly from the convenience store,” he said. (Radio Free Asia)