September 20, 2019
September 20, 2019
The North Korean perspective of the 1989 World Festival – NKNews Podcast Ep.93
The North Korean perspective of the 1989 World Festival – NKNews Podcast Ep.93
Former Pyongyang resident Choi Sung-guk discusses his experiences of the international event
August 27th, 2019

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This episode is part five of a special summer miniseries on the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. You can listen to part one here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.

The 13th World Festival of Youth and Students was held in the North Korean capital almost thirty years ago next month. A global gathering of international Communist Party-affiliated youth organizations, it represented something of a last hurrah for a world that was soon to disappear in a storm of revolution and unrest.

Hosted by North Korea — in large part as a response to the South’s successful hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games — the festival cost the country billions and saw thousands of international students descend on Pyongyang for an event devoted to “Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship.”

Choi Sung-guk, a former North Korean national who has since defected to the South and built a career for himself as an animator and cartoonist, lived in Pyongyang during the festival and observed the micro-level changes in the city as a young boy.

We talk about what he saw, how he interpreted it, his journey to South Korea, and where he draws inspiration for his animation.

(And, as a little extra for our podcast listeners who are particularly interested in the festival, host Jacco Zwetsloot has created a playlist of all the videos on YouTube of the festival, which you can watch here.)

About the podcast: The “North Korea News Podcast” is a weekly podcast hosted exclusively by NK News, covering all things DPRK: from news to extended interview with leading experts and analysts in the field and insight from our very own journalists.

Featured image: (우리민족강당)

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