The Worker

Return to the Land of Juche Korea

I visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or People’s Korea or Juche Korea from the 11th of April to the 18th of April. I was the first British citizen to visit the DPRK for 5 years. The last time I was in the DPRK was in October 2019. For several years it was not possible to travel to the DPRK because the border was closed at the end of January 2020 as a countermeasure against Covid 19. Only recently has the DPRK started allowing groups of visitors into the country. Some anti-Covid 19 measures were apparent when we arrived such as staff spraying sanitizer onto our hands when we arrived in the hotel.

I travelled to People’s Korea to participate in the celebrations of the 112th anniversary of the birth of President KIM IL SUNG and in the international seminar on the Juche Idea on the theme of Independence, Justice and the Future of Humanity organized by the Korean Association of Social Scientists and the International Institute of the Juche Idea. The seminar attracted delegations from more than 20 countries such as Brazil, Britain, Austria, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Democratic Congo, Japan and other countries. Some countries sent more than one delegation, for example there were two delegations from Brazil; the Brazilian Centre for the Study of Songun Politics headed by comrade Lucas Rubio and the delegation of the Brazilian Centre for the Study of the Juche idea. Russia also had several delegations. The fact that so many delegations travelled to Pyongyang proved that it is a lie that the DPRK is isolated or that there is no support for the DPRK outside the country. Indeed the Juche Idea is attracting interest from around the world.

Arriving at the Air Koryo (the DPRK’s national airline) check in counter at Beijing Airport on the morning of the 11th of April, I ran into many veteran supporters of People’s Korea such as Martin Lotscher of KFA Switzerland and Javed Ansari from Pakistan as well as newer friends of People’s Korea such as Lucas Rubio of Brazil.

In the course of our stay in the DPRK we visited the Korean Art Museum, the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace, the Kangdong Greenhouse Vegetable Farm, the Natural History Museum at Pyongyang Central Zoo, the Pyongyang Metro, the Tower of the Juche Idea, the National Gift Exhibition House, the Monument on the Mansu Hill, the Pyongyang Circus, the Korean Stamp Museum and we enjoyed an orchestral performance at the Moranbong Theatre as well as participating in an international friendship gathering. Some of the delegates attended an excellent dinner hosted by the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.

I arrived at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport on the afternoon of the 11th of April and was met by my guide Mr. O Su Jin of the Korean Association of Social Scientists. We travelled by coach to the excellent Pyongyang Koryo Hotel.  Sometimes it seemed hard to believe that I was really back in the DPRK, it seemed like everything was in a dream.

During the visit I witnessed that the situation in the DPRK is calm and stable. The DPRK had closed its borders for 4 years but survived, a truly amazing feat when you consider that some countries would only last weeks or even days with their borders closed. However, the DPRK is based firmly on self-reliance and the independent national economy.

Despite the sanctions imposed by the US and its lackeys on the UN Security Council and the COVID 19 pandemic the DPRK is carrying out massive construction work, it is going through another great Chollima upsurge (Chollima was a flying horse of legend in Korea and gave its name to the mass movement for increased productivity in the DPRK in the late 1950s). A new street, Hwasong Street which is the size of a small city has appeared in Pyongyang. On the day of our arrival our coach to the hotel passed through and later in the visit we drove through Hwasong Street both during the day and at night. Hwasong Street looks very modern and of good quality. It would cost billions to build in a Western country, but the DPRK gives homes to people free of charge. Whilst we were staying in the DPRK the second stage of Hwasong Street was opened on the evening of the 16th of April in the presence of the supreme leader of the DPRK, respected Marshal KIM JONG UN. Also, a new street is under construction in the Sopho district and was visible when we were going back to Pyongyang Airport on the 18th of April.

In fact, construction was going on all over Pyongyang. Opposite the Pyongyang Koryo Hotel there was a new block of flats under construction and several other blocks of flats under construction were visible in the near distance as well as in other parts of Pyongyang. I think that I can truly say that although it was my 19th visit to the DPRK, I had never previously seen construction work on such a scale before. What is significant is that all this is being achieved without the so-called ‘aid’ of imperialism or the south Korean puppets. During the emergency situation that arose in the spring of 2022 when the south Korean puppets deliberately spread Covid 19 into the DPRK, the DPRK rejected ‘aid’ from the south Korean puppets, the UN and the US. The daily newspaper of the Workers Party of Korea later described the ‘aid’ of imperialism as a ‘poisoned candy‘. The rapid development of People’s Korea by relying on its own resources and labor is destroying the myth that outside assistance, particularly from US and other imperialists, is somehow essential for a country ‘s development.

We visited the newly built Kangdong Greenhouse Vegetable Farm which was some 34 kilometres outside Pyongyang. It had only gone into operation in March this year. It was opened on the 15th of March in the presence of respected Marshal KIM JONG UN. The farm had been built on the site of the former Mirim Airbase of the Korean People’s Army. One myth about People’s Korea created by the mainstream media of the imperialists is that resources are diverted away from civilians to the military but the construction of the Kangdong Greenhouse Vegetable Farm shows that in fact this is simply not true. The farm has an area of 100 square hectares with 8 types of greenhouses. The farm has 1,800 workers. We were able to taste cucumbers produced by the farm. Significantly the Kangdong Greenhouse Vegetable Farm is not a co-operative farm but actually a state farm which means that it is owned by the whole people. The aim is to create a similar farm in each county or province of the DPRK. Vegetables from the farm were supplied free of charge to Pyongyang citizens. Also, dwellings for the workers of the farm were given free of charge to the farm’s workers. It can be truly said that the DPRK is actually advancing towards the higher stage of socialism and communism. 

In recent years a false narrative about the DPRK has been created by some sections of the mainstream media and by so-called ‘academic experts‘ on the DPRK who in reality know nothing at all about the DPRK. The false narrative is that the DPRK is adopting ‘market reforms‘ and abandoning Juche-based socialism, this aimed at confusing and disillusioning supporters of People’s Korea. The fact that the DPRK is developing a network of state-owned farms to supply vegetables to the population shows that the DPRK is actually strengthening the planned economy and system of state ownership.

Although there have been massive changes in the DPRK since the last time I visited, what remained unchanged was the DPRK s constituent anti-imperialism and adherence to socialist principles. Red flags were flying on street corners and there were many revolutionary slogans in large Korean characters. Postcards of anti-US posters could be found in the bookshop of the Pyongyang Koryo Hotel and Korean Stamp Museum. A friend of mine who had been with me in the DPRK in 2017 and 2018 remarked that he had been worried about what he might find in the DPRK after an absence of 6 years but was quite relieved as well as positive when he saw that there had been no ‘reform’ and ‘opening up‘ in the DPRK and there was a complete absence of Western influence.

Prices in the hotel shop were the same as in 2019. Needless to say the NK News “250 dollar banana” could not be found and my guide just laughed and said “ridiculous” when I told him the story. There were no homeless people and I saw no one begging Housing is given to people free of charge. My guide, Mr O, told me that he had lived in Mirae Scientists Street with his parents but when he got married he was given a new flat. The streets were spotlessly clean with no litter. There were no drug addicts, prostitutes, lumpens or decadent people. I was able to leave money in my hotel room and it was still there when I returned in the evening or afternoon.

As to tales of “human rights violations”, the DPRK actually has a fairly minimal police presence compared to many other countries. The police only direct traffic. The situation seemed quite normal.

I was able to make a speech at the seminar on the Juche Idea on the theme of “Independence , Justice and the Future of Humanity “, which was held on the 15th of April. There were 10 speakers including DPRK social scientists as well as speakers from Russia, Mongolia, the Democratic Congo and the International Institute of the Juche Idea. In my speech I pointed out that “People’s Korea under the leadership of the respected leader Marshal KIM JONG UN represents the future of humanity. Rapid advances such as the construction of new housing as well as the launch of the DPRK’s first ever military reconnaissance satellite are taking place one after the other. People’s Korea is a country without unemployment, without beggars and without drug addicts. It is a society free from the decadence of modern capitalism which is rotten to the core.”

A follow up course was held on the 16th of April with lecturers from the Korean Association of Social Scientists.

I was sad to leave the DPRK on the 18th of April but very glad that I went.

My thanks to the Korean Association of Social Scientists for the invitation and for their work in organizing the visit, to my guide Mr. O Su Jin, to the staff of the Pyongyang Koryo Hotel and to the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations for the excellent dinner.

See you again Pyongyang!

Dr. Dermot Hudson

Chairman, British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea 

Chairman Korean Friendship Association of the UK

Anglo-People’s Korea/Songun: Return to the Land of Juche Korea ! by Dr Dermot Hudson (

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