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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Breaking News: DPRK Open All Year Round!

by | August 31st, 2013 | 07:00 am

You think we are kidding, but this is literally the banner on a recent email sent from Koryo Tours, one of those intrepid providers of tour services to the DPRK. The period which is now open for business is mid-December to mid-January. According to the message, “brush up on the words for Auld Lang Syne and be amongst the first group of western tourists to ever ring in 2014 (Juche 103) in the DPRK.”

eric shmidt in pyongyang

You might want to bring some warm clothes, though; average temperatures in Pyongyang in December and January are in the middle 20′s Fahrenheit (Holiday Weather.com also reports that Pyongyang’s sunshine hours are “N/A”). The photo above is of Eric Schmidt looking at a computer screen with his coat on. He was not on his way in or out. Buildings simply are not heated to what most people would consider a human comfort level because of the energy constraints the country faces. Those constraints, in turn, are a function of the country’s self-imposed isolation. Open all year indeed.