I’ve certainly been on my fair share of subway systems around the world, and I’ve even been to some systems in their entirety (you can see the entire list of subways I have been on here). However, there are some cities that I have not visited and have no intention of visiting anytime soon, and as a result, you will not be seeing photos from those places on this website. One of those places on my “no desire to go there list” is Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. The Pyongyang Metro supposedly has two lines and about 16 stations served by rolling stock imported from East Germany. However, as with most things related to North Korea, the truth is hard to verify and I won’t be traveling there to visit every station. Instead, I’ll send you to a blog entry on a website called “Earth Nutshell”, where a tourist claims to have visited all the stations on both lines of the Pyongyang Metro. This is notable because many North Korean tours only include two subway stations, and some have suggested that the “commuters” are just actors and the subway is no larger than the two stations seen by tourists. Furthermore, the number of subway cars imported to North Korea is much larger than the number needed to operate the supposed two line 16 station network, feeding speculation that a secret network for the Pyongyang elite might also exist. The one constant in all the reports from the Pyongyang Metro is that the stations are very ornate and feature many propaganda murals and even statues of eternal president Kim Il-Sung. Also, as is common in just about every place in North Korea, a photo of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il is present on board each subway car.
Intrigued but not yet ready to commit to a highly regulated tour of North Korea? (I don’t blame you aren’t sold on the idea of traveling to Pyongyang.) Then click here to see Elliot’s tour of the Pyongyang Metro and enjoy touring this system vicariously.
Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.