North Koreans Splash in New Water Park

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There are few countries in the world stranger to look at than North Korea. The pariah state is known for its brand of militarist totalitarianism, the creepiness of the cult of Kim and the misery of a starving, oppressed population. But, with its borders closed and its people kept much in the dark, the North Korea the outside world sees is framed — with the exception of a handful of foreign photographers — entirely through the propaganda that the state broadcasts. These undated pictures are from the new Munsu water park opened in Pyongyang recently. The country’s youthful despot Kim Jong Un has a penchant for such diversions and here are scenes of his latest bequest to his people. Who knows—they could use the fun.

More Photography from Time

19 comments
HairyGuy
HairyGuy

i can't imagine living in a place that is not democratic/republic. this is a nightmare. i hope this fat kim guy will die like saddam or in another horrible way. congrats to those who have defected and reached south korea. 

HeavenIsNear
HeavenIsNear

The Supreme Leader has blessed us all with his graces of happiness, fun, and entertainment! What a happy day it is! Thank You to the Supreme Leader and Bless the Eternal Leader :)

Sonmi-451
Sonmi-451

I see a huge number of people wearing blazers, seems like a formal event to me. Oh, and the water park is poorly designed. 

Ol'Bob
Ol'Bob

Quite the revolting display of play-toy opulence. King Jong is apparently having fun, fiddling while his "loyal" subjects starve.

SophiaLe
SophiaLe

This is ridiculous.  They don't need a water park, they need food for the hungry children and people.  Seriously North Korea??

EQR
EQR

This is looking like a badly "photoshopped" image to me.  Anyone else?

PoliticalHostage
PoliticalHostage

That'll be the last time the NK public sees that park.  Time, you guys are part of the propaganda.

FreeRadicals
FreeRadicals

Nice Photo Op.  3 kids enjoy water for the camera, . . . NOW, EVERYBODY OUT!  Notice, not much going on around the people posing.

Back to eating your children to survive.

razor86
razor86

Sorta like watching Hitler dine at his private retreat... While the gas ovens worked overtime. Or have the starvation death squads done their job already?

buffalo.barnes102
buffalo.barnes102

After this photo was taken, several people started eating the two rafts in the picture. I would think the last thing North Korean people want or need is a water park for favored friends of the Boy Dictator.

eagle11772
eagle11772

It would be amusing, if life in North Korea wasn't so sad for millions of people there.

Ol'Bob
Ol'Bob

@SophiaLe - Please, let's have some understanding here! NK is a monarchy in all but name, and a particularly nasty example. King Jong likes places to play, and he's persona non grata across most of the globe so he has to build his own toy-palaces. Food? People? Please - this whack-job state is all about the cult of the leader, and nothing else matters. Frankly, if I was him I'd kill every unmarried orphan he can find, because one of these days some supposedly loyal somebody with no familly to punish is finally gonna say, "Screw it!" and shoot  his worthless carcass full of holes.

icelandicvikingwarrior99
icelandicvikingwarrior99

@EQR All 7 pictures? No, this is really just proof Kim Jong Un wants to look good on the world stage instead of ending the rampant hunger, death, corruption and poverty in his country.

Ol'Bob
Ol'Bob

@PoliticalHostage - I'm quite sure that the "public" has never and will never see this place. Every person who gets in the gates will have been vetted and approved by the political machinery.

SuperWittySmitty
SuperWittySmitty

@eagle11772 Yet people who do not live there, who live in a world-class cities with none of the pain and hardships experienced by others and they're also miserably unhappy. Freedom and democracy do not always bring happiness; capitalism doesn't always bring wealth and prosperity.

razor86
razor86

"Freedom isn't free.". Last time I checked no one starves in American custody. Even Sheriff Joe provides old bologna sandwiches. . . If you are going to wring your hands, "produce the body.". How much of your fiscal possessions or sweat-equity have you shared lately?