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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Eerie Amusement Parks of North Korea

By: Dahlia Rideout

I’m hooked on virtual tourism and one of my favorite stops in Google Earth includes Pyongyang, North Korea. While traveling along the Taedong River, I noticed something that looked like an amusement park, an intriguing find in such a pragmatic and tedious city.

It turns out there are three funfairs in Pyongyang in various states of disrepair, the largest being the Kaeson Youth Park. Opened in 1984, it was built to project an image of progress and the ingenuity of its citizens. Backed by Russia and China when they were heavily funding the DPRK’s growth, the Kaeson Youth Park is the largest of three funfairs still in operation in the greater Pyongyang area.

As freaky as it looks, if I were a kid growing up in Pyongyang, I’d be pretty excited to visit these parks.

There's a special eeriness reserved for an abandoned amusement park.

A looping roller is a stark contrast to an out of commission merry-go-round. Image source: NKeconWatch

The "Wheel of Death" at Kaeson Youth Park is notorious for ejecting riders. There are no safety straps and it apparently spins very quickly. Image source: The Real Jeku

The "Roller Coaster of Death" at Kaeson Youth Park. Image source: Kernbeisser

Another image of the "Roller Coaster of Death." Notice the derailed car. Image source: redjef25

Shooting games are popular in all of the funfairs. Image source: Lucaskt

This might very well be the worst job at the funfair. Image source: Lucaskt

Often times political imagery is used for the shooting games. Image source: Lucaskt

Sometimes the imagery lacks political correctness. Image source: Lucaskt

I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, but it has something to do with a basketball. And blood. Image source: Lucaskt

The wheelie adds a nice touch. Image source: Lucaskt

This image of Kaeson Youth Park looks surprisingly inviting. Image source: The Real Jeku

Upon closer inspection it seems this ferris wheel could use some love. Image source: Lucaskt

The Roller Coaster of Death, Kaeson Youth Park.


Anonymous November 5, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

If you have not seen it, I have mapped out most of North Korea on Google Earth. You can download it here if you are interested: