Wonsan

Snow Skiing in North Korea

The North Koreans are building a ski slope, and despite setbacks over ski lift procurement, the mountain is set to open next winter.  Last week the general managers of Young Pioneer Tours were the first westerners invited to the East Coast city of Wŏnsan to inspect the ski slope construction.  In addition to taking some of the first pictures of the ski slope, they also report that the mountain will be open to western tourists.  Skiers will be giving full access to the mountain – DPRK guides will not be chasing behind them!

Young Pioneer Tours fully expects to offer several winter ski trips once the mountain opens – more details to come!

North Korean Ski Slope

North Korean Ski Slope Hotel

North Korean Ski Slope

Construction at the Wonsan area ski slope – photos by Young Pioneer Tours


Is it Time to Defy Washington’s Logic on North Korea?

Wonsan, North Korea

Propaganda in Wonsan, North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

Great analysis on the failed US “Strategic Patience” policy in regards to the North Korea problem by my friend, and  decorated Army Veteran, Michael Bassett.


Traditional Fishing Boat Wonsan, North Korea and Vacation!

The view of the Pacific Ocean from my stateroom porthole this morning reminded me of the calm seas off the city of Wonsan where this traditional North Korean fishing boat works.

Wonsan Boat North Korea

Photo by Joseph A Ferris III

After 4 months of duty as a Chief Mate on a scientific research ship voyaging on expeditions from Chile, Galapagos, and out of Southern California, I made my final arrival this morning and have officially started 3 months of vacation!  I fly back to Maine to visit my family for two weeks, and then start the real adventure: two and a half months traveling around the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Malta, Iran, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Turkey, and Lebanon.

North Korea isn’t in the itinerary this time around, maybe in 2013, but I’m excited to make a visit to Iran.  A little less strict than the DPRK, Americans are still required to have a guide there.  I’m going with the owner of Young Pioneers, a tour company that specializes in trips to the DPRK and other hard to reach places.  This is their 2nd trip into Iran, and after hearing stories about their first trip over beers at the Pyongyang micro brewery, I decided this trip was a must if my schedule could work it.

Expect a page here in the future with pics and a travel log from this Fall 2012 adventure!


Working for a Strong and Prosperous North Korea

More rare photos from the North Korean countryside:  road construction, transportation, industry, and farming in Hamhung/Wonsan region.

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Hamhung Countryside

Hamhung Countryside

Tram Repairs North Korea

North Korean Rail Service

Hamhung Countryside

Industry Hamhung, North Korea

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Please note that tourists are not generally permitted to take photos such as these due to the government’s fear that they could be used to portray the country in a negative manner. Our guides gracilcly permitted me to take photos of the “beautiful countryside”, which I post here with total respect and in appreciation for the DPRK rural way of life.

All photos by Joseph A Ferris III


Working for a Bountiful Harvest in the North Korean Countryside

Rare photos of farmers in the North Korean countryside (between Hamhung and Wonsan) preparing fields and working for the upcoming planting season.

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Please note that tourists are not generally permitted to take photos such as these due to the government’s fear that they could be used to portray the country in a negative manner. Our guides gracilcly permitted me to take photos of the “beautiful countryside”, which I post here with total respect and in appreciation for the DPRK rural way of life.

All photos by Joseph A Ferris III


Article Analysis at The North Korea Blog

My good friends over at The North Korea Blog have been busy analyzing some recent articles about North Korea put out by the main stream media.  Like myself, these guys have also visited the DPRK and have valuable insights to share.

Hamhung, DPRK, North Korea

Going Green in North Korea
Gabriel Mizrahi examines the Prague Post’s article: Czech consultant launches in North Korea.

Pedal power on the streets of Hamhung,  North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

A Kink in the Armor - Joshua Spodek analyzes the Wall Street Journal’s report: Luxuries Flow Into North Korea.

State authorized cottage industry in the Hamhung region – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Peace Sign Photobomb!

Peace - Wonsan Town Square North Korea

Peace sign photobomb at the Wonsan main square, North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


A Load of Firewood in the North Korean Countryside

Wonson - Pyongyang Countryside

A rare photo from the North Korean countryside – on the road between Wonsan and Pyongyang, a troop of soldiers return to base with a truck load of firewood.   I love some of the small details I captured here: the girl in the back holding a branch with flower blossoms, a smile on the man in front, and girls curiously checking out the tourist bus as it passes.


Local Fisherman in Wonsan, North Korea

In the tidal shallows outside the tourist hotel in the North Korean east coast city of Wonsan, local fisherman search out the ocean’s bounty – photos by Joseph A Ferris III

Wonson Fisherman DPRK, North Korea

Wonson Fisherman DPRK, North Korea

Wonson Fisherman DPRK, North Korea

Wonson Fisherman DPRK, North Korea

Wonson Fisherman DPRK, North Korea


Countryside Propaganda Billboards and Murals

A collection of images showing propaganda billboards and murals from the Wonsan and Hamhung countryside areas.

Wonson - Hamhung Countryside

Propaganda from the Wonson/Hamhung region, North Korea

Propaganda from the Wonson/Hamhung region, North Korea

Hamhung-Wonson Road

Wonson - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonson - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

All photos taken April 2012 by Joseph A Ferris III


Portrait of a Girl

Girl in Wonson City Square, North Korea

Portrait of a girl in Wonsan City, North Korea .  She was quite a little ham, always finding a position front and foremost in the crowds so she could be the center focus of my photos. You can find more of her in these previous posts here, here, and here.


Wonsan Docks Post #2

More pics below from our walk at the Wonsan Docks, DPRK, North Korea – original post here.

Wonson Docks, North Korea

Wonson Docks North Korea

DSC07326

Wonson Docks North Korea

Frisbee at the Wonson Town Square North Korea

Frisbee at the Wonson Docks North Korea

Wonson Docks North Korea

Wonson City Square, North Korea

Wonson City Square, North Korea

All pics by Joseph A Ferris III


Wonsan Docks

Wonson Docks, North Korea

Wonsan Docks, North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

In Wonsan, the North Korean East Coast port city, we were allowed about an hour to walk and enjoy the local scene at the city docks and main square.  My friends quickly started a frenzy with the Frisbee on the docks while I took pictures all along the waterfront and in the main square.  We captivated the locals and created quite a stir with children chasing us on roller blades and soldiers asking for pictures, but apparently the fun was too much for some people and government big wigs, who were not amused by the scene, quickly dispersed the crowds and sent us on our way (back on the bus).

More pics below from the Wonsan Docks and Main Square.

Wonson Docks, North Korea

Frisbee at the Wonson Docks North Korea

Frisbee at the Wonson Docks North Korea

Wonson Town Square North Korea