Eat Like a North Korean

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"North Korean capitalism is thriving," says former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent Bertil Lintner, "just not in North Korea." The dictatorship is playing entrepreneur abroad to keep its socialist paradise afloat at home, setting up small businesses that funnel money back to the regime. Exhibit A, says Lintner, is Pyongyang's answer to Planet Hollywood:

Consider, for instance, Cafe Pyongyang, one of Vladivostok's most popular eateries. It is so popular, in fact, that there are plans to build a new restaurant in the shape of a North Korean peasant's hut, similar to the one where the late leader Kim Il-sung was born in 1912. Here, gracefully clothed North Korean women serve up traditional Korean fare, while patrons sing popular Korean tunes.

Similarly themed restaurants have popped up in Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Whole thing here.

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  1. And to think we used to make “mystery meat” jokes about school cafeteria food….

  2. Shhh. Quiet, now. Don’t tell the despots and the leftists, but capitalism works.
    Quiet, now. Keep that on the down-low. Shhh.

  3. today’s special:

    Old Yeller.

  4. Do they serve grass?

  5. meanwhile, starvation is rampant in North Korea itself.

    While “Dear Leader’s” diet appears to be chock full of goodness (fat little fucker). The vast majority of his people are starving to death

  6. Do the happy meals come with miniature nuclear missile, you know, for kids?

  7. anyone ever read that article on eating dogs in slate? i thought it was kinda interesting never looked at my dog in the same way again

  8. Mmmmm, pine needles.

  9. They let North Koreans eat?

  10. Dog is no longer available in North Korea. All eaten. Ditto cat, songbird etc. I have to guess that insects are pretty much the only thing keeping many North Koreans alive anymore.

    Of course, there’s no way to know what is keeping the unfortunate people of that country going, since communications in and out are controlled as strictly as anyplace on Earth ever has been.

    That filthy gargoyle Kim deserves to burn in the lowest sewer of Hell for all eternity.

    Sadly, his most likely fates are either his Beloved old Dad’s (dying in his bed surrounded by fawning retainers) or a relatively clean assasination. I’m cheering for the latter, and soon.

  11. But at least they’re not materialist. I’m thinking of moving there for my children.

  12. My first association with North Korean cuisine is always the testimony of Lee Soon-ok, who wrote a book about her experience.

    “They say it is a day of great fortune if a prisoner finds a rat creeping up from the bottom of the toilet hole,” she said. “The prisoners catch it with their bare hands and devour it raw, as rats are the only source of meat in the prison. They say the wonderful taste of a raw rat is unforgettable. If they are caught eating a rat, however, the punishment is extended. So they have to be very careful when catching and eating a rat.”

  13. sulla,

    Good god.

  14. My favorite rumor involving N. Korea is that US carfully watches warehouses containing combat boots. The idea is this: N.K. is so poor that they can’t afford to issue boots on a regular basis. The distribution of boots, therefore, would indicate that they plan to cross the border.

  15. What’s this about North Koreans starving? That’s crazy. Anyone who thinks there isn’t enough food in North Korea is an idiot. I had a tasty Korean last week and there are plenty of Koreans in North Korea. There is a whole country full of fleshy fresh ingredients but you libers let your silly notions of individualism stand in the way of feeding the masses. Collective welfare requires some people to sacrifice, and if that means becoming soup so the less fortunate can eat only a greedy Republican global-corporatarian would object!

    DFD

  16. Is DFD talking about Soylent Yellow?

  17. Sounds more like The Soylence of the Lambs.

  18. TAKE DAT HANS BRIX!

  19. Also, I have to give a shoutout for the Ryugyong Hotel

    Try the N. Korean veal. It’s exquisite.

  20. “Try the N. Korean veal. It’s exquisite.
    Comment by: mediageek at May 25, 2006 05:11 PM”

    baby?

  21. Naw, N. Korean dissident baby would be stringy and dry.

  22. The North Korean rulers: They’re evil, not stupid. Seriously, they’ve always been interested, in a small way, in international trade, especially since it was the only way they could get decent consumer goods for the elite.

  23. So… this means, what, that the government of N.Korea is made of a bunch of hypocrites. I for one am shocked at that implication.

    That said, I can’t wait to try the Kim-chi Jong Il of the People’s Puppy Platter.

  24. anyone ever read that article on eating dogs in slate? i thought it was kinda interesting never looked at my dog in the same way again

    Don’t feel strange, if your dog had the chance, he’d chow down on you in a heartbeat.

  25. But at least they’re not materialist. I’m thinking of moving there for my children.

    They are materialist… they are strong believers in Dialectal Materialism.

    But you still might want to move there, to make sure your children are not exploited by capitalists, and live under a system where the government truly cares.

  26. Nothing says “we care” like a police state.

  27. Why do I get the idea that the same folks who would gladly burn down a MacDonalds consider Cafe Pyongyang high culture?

  28. I wonder how many family members have to be held at gunpoint back in NK to stop waitresses from defecting even to impoverished countries like Cambodia.

  29. At least the mystery of where they bury their dead has been solved.

  30. I wonder how many family members have to be held at gunpoint back in NK to stop waitresses from defecting even to impoverished countries like Cambodia.

    Who _isn’t_ held at gunpoint in DPRK, physically or mentally? I mean, besides Dear Fatass…

  31. actually… s.koreans eat dogs and pay a lot for it too.

  32. actually… s.koreans eat dogs and pay a lot for it too.

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