North Korean Taekwondo Expert Defeats American Imperialist

On my recent trip to North Korea I arranged a private Taekwondo demonstration at the Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace. It was an amazing and extremely rare experience but the best part of the show was when we convinced the North Koreans to match their best against DPRK analyst and US Senatorial consultant Michael Bassett. Unfortunately (but expectantly) our American representative suffered a swift and devastating defeat!

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

Pyongyang Taekwondo Palace

I assume the North Koreans will never let a tourist match up with their Taekwondo experts again – a first and last ever brought to you by American in North Korea. More pics from the Taekwondo demonstration to come.

10 responses

  1. Reblogged this on kattyjames.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

  2. this is so very interesting, I have just started following your articles and I think they are a great look inside a country obscured to the american public by government

    April 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  3. it seem hurt

    April 10, 2013 at 3:53 am

  4. H4U

    Hi, I used to read your journal on LJ, back when you posted there. I don’t know if you’re seen this news yet:

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130410000797

    But basically China is saying the border near Dandong is closed to tourists, and as of today (10 April) no tourists are being allowed into North Korea. Business travel continues as usual (at least as of today).

    I don’t know how long this restriction will be in place or what’s going to happen. Sounds like everyone’s guess is as good as mine.

    Great photographs, btw, as usual — you always took fantastic travel pictures no matter where you went, and now can add North Korea and its people to that list!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:20 am

  5. Are they from the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF)? Their uniforms very much look like it

    April 11, 2013 at 4:38 am

    • Not sure, will try to remember and ask next time I’m in Pyongyang, also, have a pic of their trophy cabinet, will try to dig that up.

      April 12, 2013 at 10:39 am

  6. James

    I was at demonstration that a bunch of kids put on and the uniforms had the ITF badges. As a side note there is (or was, since its been almost 10 years) a sushi restaurant in the Taekwondo building. I seem to recall hearing somewhere that a new Taekwondo building was completed (not sure).

    April 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

  7. James

    I should probably qualify that to… there is/was a restaurant in the Taekwondo bulding where you can get sushi…
    It was okay. Very elegantly prepared and presented (although they were very stingy with the wasabi).
    You had to pay extra to go there but I think for the five of us (including guides and driver) it was 30 Euro for sushi, dog soup, the assorted side dishes plus beer and soju. I assume it would be much more now since DPRK has polished its capitalistic skills considerably since then.

    April 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

  8. Yuli

    AMAZING HI KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 20, 2013 at 4:10 am

  9. Fernando Martinez

    Hello, I am Dominican American. I want to visit The DPRK as well. Can I fly to China then go to NK?

    January 12, 2014 at 10:13 am

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