March 25, 2023

North Korean leaders’ unique gifts: From a signed basketball to stuffed turtle

A new propaganda book showcases never-before-seen items that offer a window into DPRK’s relations with outside world

Much has been written about the unique and sometimes wacky gifts sent to North Korea’s ruling Kim family over the years, tens of thousands of which are stored at the International Friendship Exhibition House located north of Pyongyang.

But despite the wealth of curiosities — including a stuffed crocodile drinks holder, a full-size Ilyushin Il-14 propeller plane and bulletproof Soviet cars — there have long been few images of the gifts themselves, as the museum strictly prohibits photography.