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Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip

 
SeekWisdom
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01/22/2013 02:49 PM

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Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
While Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has taken the opportunity to advocate for North Korea to open itself up to the global Internet, it’s his daughter’s account of the unusual private trip to the country taken earlier this month that is causing a stir.

Sophie Schmidt went on what was described as a “private, humanitarian” mission to North Korea, which was not supported the U.S. State Department, with her father and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in the first week of January.

On her website detailing the trip titled “Sophie in North Korea,” she admits in a blog post called “it might not get weirder than this” that she is an “amateur” when it comes to the country. She calls her thoughts a “straightforward trip report” with no discussion about the meeting, the trips intentions, etc.

“Just some informal observations,” Sophie wrote.

Overall, she wrote that she would recommend people visit the country, if they can and if it’s not in January when it is exceedingly cold.

“Nothing I’d read or heard beforehand really prepared me for what we saw,” she continued.

Although they were required to leave “killing devices,” cellphones and “publishings of all kinds” at customs, Sophie said they weren’t regulated when it came to their cameras, so she has some photographs of her trip.

Here are a few observations that we’ve picked out from her post (in her words):

It’s like the Truman Show, at a country scale.
For a country that banned religion, and has sent thousands of practicing Christians to prison camps, the Christmas trees were rather incongruous. When asked, Minder 1 chuckled and offered, “New Year’s trees?”


Food overall? Solidly decent. Like Korean food, only with less pizzazz and more corn (?).
Three channels on the TVs: CNN International, dubbed-over USSR-era films, and the DPRK channel, which was by far the most entertaining. My tolerance level for videos of Kim Jong Un in crowds turns out to be remarkably high.
People there walk very long distances (miles and miles) in sub-zero temperatures, often in the middle of the road. (Not a problem because there are almost no cars outside the city center.)Conclusion: these people are really, really tough.
Our trip coincided with the “Respected Leader” Kim Jong Un’s birthday. On that day, the little stalls that dotted the city and sold small sundries had long lines as they distributed treats. When we asked how old Un had turned (29? 30?), we were told that “Koreans keep track of age differently” than we do. Alright, then.


In a fantastic bit of timing, as we exited the train, the station’s power cut out. The commuters around us immediately pulled out flashlights, which they presumably carry all the time.
The Kim Il Sung University e-Library, or as I like to call it, the e-Potemkin Village. [...] No one was actually doing anything. A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared. More disturbing: when our group walked in–a noisy bunch, with media in tow–not one of them looked up from their desks. Not a head turn, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. They might as well have been figurines.

[link to www.theblaze.com]
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
Albert Einstein

Get over here!- Scorpion
SeekWisdom (OP)

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01/22/2013 02:55 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
bump
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
Albert Einstein

Get over here!- Scorpion
Lucky Charms

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01/22/2013 02:59 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
'Magically Delicious'
SeekWisdom (OP)

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01/22/2013 03:01 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


The part about the e-library real worried me. She said nobody moved or even looked at them.
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
Albert Einstein

Get over here!- Scorpion
Anonymous Coward
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01/22/2013 03:04 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip


Lucky Charms

User ID: 1214094
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01/22/2013 03:23 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


The part about the e-library real worried me. She said nobody moved or even looked at them.
 Quoting: SeekWisdom


Which means they were brought in just for the visitors benefit, nobody looked up because they knew the group was coming... I get the vibe that everything you see is an illusion set up just for you, just for that moment and when you turn away it all gets taken apart again.

The whole thing is laughable, but also quite sad in a way.

What crossed my mind was when she mentions they were shown an American style fast food restaurant, but the timing was off and the place was shuttered and the "staff" started scrambling to get the lights on and aprons on to put on the show... I'm sure somebody got punished for that.

I would like to go, I wonder how tough it is for a normal civilian tourist to get in.
'Magically Delicious'
Anonymous Coward
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01/22/2013 03:23 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


Kinda like a cruise.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 32815534
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01/22/2013 03:25 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


The part about the e-library real worried me. She said nobody moved or even looked at them.
 Quoting: SeekWisdom


Which means they were brought in just for the visitors benefit, nobody looked up because they knew the group was coming... I get the vibe that everything you see is an illusion set up just for you, just for that moment and when you turn away it all gets taken apart again.

The whole thing is laughable, but also quite sad in a way.

What crossed my mind was when she mentions they were shown an American style fast food restaurant, but the timing was off and the place was shuttered and the "staff" started scrambling to get the lights on and aprons on to put on the show... I'm sure somebody got punished for that.

I would like to go, I wonder how tough it is for a normal civilian tourist to get in.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


People are suffering in North Korea they have no food etc etc wtf would a normal civilian tourist do there?
Lucky Charms

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01/22/2013 03:31 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
People are suffering in North Korea they have no food etc etc wtf would a normal civilian tourist do there?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32815534


Observe, experience, spend money.

People are suffering and starving in many countries, I've seen it first hand.

I doubt the NK government is going to let me hump food aid into that nation, does that mean I shouldn't go?

Edit: Anyway I just looked it up, there's a few NK tourism sites, easy to get in (very easy for Irish, getting a visa much simpler than for an American).
They get loads of Asian tourists and about 1-2 thousand westerners a year.
Flights are quite cheap, maybe worth doing as a couple of days out from a Chinese trip or something. Kill two birds so to speak.

Last Edited by Lucky Charms on 01/22/2013 03:37 PM
'Magically Delicious'
SeekWisdom (OP)

User ID: 14695767
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01/22/2013 03:34 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


The part about the e-library real worried me. She said nobody moved or even looked at them.
 Quoting: SeekWisdom


Which means they were brought in just for the visitors benefit, nobody looked up because they knew the group was coming... I get the vibe that everything you see is an illusion set up just for you, just for that moment and when you turn away it all gets taken apart again.

The whole thing is laughable, but also quite sad in a way.

What crossed my mind was when she mentions they were shown an American style fast food restaurant, but the timing was off and the place was shuttered and the "staff" started scrambling to get the lights on and aprons on to put on the show... I'm sure somebody got punished for that.

I would like to go, I wonder how tough it is for a normal civilian tourist to get in.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


[link to wikitravel.org]
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
Albert Einstein

Get over here!- Scorpion
Kalles Kaviar

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01/22/2013 03:47 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
You should really watch the documentary that AC32527430 posted. A really good view on how it is to be a "tourist" in Pyongyang. A really strange country that Sweden still have diplomatical connections with. It was established in 1973, and in 1974 in exchange for diplomacy they ordered 600 Volvo 144's and other technology for about 2,6 billion SEK (300 million Euros) in todays value. Money they still owe the Swedish government.
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Anonymous Coward
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01/22/2013 03:56 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
CNN, intl, huh?

That should be a clue that its controlled propaganda and cnn shouldn't be watched here in America.
Lucky Charms

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01/22/2013 03:57 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
CNN, intl, huh?

That should be a clue that its controlled propaganda and cnn shouldn't be watched here in America.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32630104


Yeah, that raised my eyebrow too... I figure it's only on the "guesthouse" TVs though.

I doubt the ordainary citizen is able to watch it at home.
'Magically Delicious'
Kalles Kaviar

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01/22/2013 04:02 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
CNN, intl, huh?

That should be a clue that its controlled propaganda and cnn shouldn't be watched here in America.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32630104


Yeah, that raised my eyebrow too... I figure it's only on the "guesthouse" TVs though.

I doubt the ordainary citizen is able to watch it at home.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


Citizens outside Pyongyang doesn't even have electricity. And the Pyongyang residents have 1 channel.
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Kalles Kaviar

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01/22/2013 04:04 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip


Watch this one. About Joe (James) Dresnok, an American defector now living in North Korea. 1 hour 30 mins, but well worth watching.

Last Edited by Kalles Kaviar on 01/22/2013 04:04 PM
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Anonymous Coward
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01/22/2013 04:07 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
what did you expect from the dream factory world created for you to engage from the already learned dream state you disconnected from.

the world is not what you think it is.
-GLP-Christian-
Potential Terrorist Under Svea Banér

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01/22/2013 04:54 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip



 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32527430


That documentary is really good.

Here's another interesting one:

[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]

and this one:

[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]
Kalles Kaviar

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01/22/2013 05:01 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip



 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32527430


That documentary is really good.

Here's another interesting one:

[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]

and this one:

[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]
 Quoting: -GLP-Christian-


Thank you! Gonna watch them tonight. Having the night shift, so this is perfect!
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 32630104
United States
01/22/2013 05:08 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
You should really watch the documentary that AC32527430 posted. A really good view on how it is to be a "tourist" in Pyongyang. A really strange country that Sweden still have diplomatical connections with. It was established in 1973, and in 1974 in exchange for diplomacy they ordered 600 Volvo 144's and other technology for about 2,6 billion SEK (300 million Euros) in todays value. Money they still owe the Swedish government.
 Quoting: Kalles Kaviar


Took your advice and watched the documentary on N Korea.

Holy heck. That's crazy stuff.

How easy to brainwash people. Which happens all around the world, really. But the extreme conditioning in NK should be a wake up call to all
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 12056996
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01/22/2013 05:14 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Great article.

I really like the bit about the luxury guest house...

No cellphones or alarm clocks so how to know when it was time to leave or whatever?

Simply announce "I'm awake" because the room is bugged anyway, and somebody will come to get you lol!

Awesome.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


The part about the e-library real worried me. She said nobody moved or even looked at them.
 Quoting: SeekWisdom


Which means they were brought in just for the visitors benefit, nobody looked up because they knew the group was coming... I get the vibe that everything you see is an illusion set up just for you, just for that moment and when you turn away it all gets taken apart again.

The whole thing is laughable, but also quite sad in a way.

What crossed my mind was when she mentions they were shown an American style fast food restaurant, but the timing was off and the place was shuttered and the "staff" started scrambling to get the lights on and aprons on to put on the show... I'm sure somebody got punished for that.

I would like to go, I wonder how tough it is for a normal civilian tourist to get in.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


People are suffering in North Korea they have no food etc etc wtf would a normal civilian tourist do there?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32815534


When they escape invite them to come live with you then. The world does not want to deal with 30 million stunted brain damaged useless eaters. We have the aussies filling that role currently.
Kalles Kaviar

User ID: 3264930
Sweden
01/22/2013 05:14 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
You should really watch the documentary that AC32527430 posted. A really good view on how it is to be a "tourist" in Pyongyang. A really strange country that Sweden still have diplomatical connections with. It was established in 1973, and in 1974 in exchange for diplomacy they ordered 600 Volvo 144's and other technology for about 2,6 billion SEK (300 million Euros) in todays value. Money they still owe the Swedish government.
 Quoting: Kalles Kaviar


Took your advice and watched the documentary on N Korea.

Holy heck. That's crazy stuff.

How easy to brainwash people. Which happens all around the world, really. But the extreme conditioning in NK should be a wake up call to all
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32630104


Since they don't have any possibility to connect with the outside world, they learn to trust everything that their leaders say. But i think N Korea will open up more and more during he leadership of Kim Jong-un.
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Anonymous Coward
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01/22/2013 05:30 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
A lovely hell-hole on earth, isn't it.
Should be nuked.
SeekWisdom (OP)

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01/22/2013 05:38 PM

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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
Netflix also has some great documentaries on Nk too!
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
Albert Einstein

Get over here!- Scorpion
Kalles Kaviar

User ID: 3264930
Sweden
01/22/2013 05:38 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
A lovely hell-hole on earth, isn't it.
Should be nuked.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32590835


Yes, nukes solve every problem in the world.
Newton's third law of emotion

For every male action, there is a female overreaction.
Whodini
User ID: 7032422
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01/23/2013 12:34 PM
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Re: Google Exec’s Daughter Details Weird, Truman Show-Like Conditions in North Korea After Trip
North and South Korea at night:


[link to www.google.com]

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