Samuels also commented that the attractions are often grand, over-the-top public buildings that few would be interested in, in other countries, but because it is North Korea, they all happily photograph them. He cited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as an example and suggested that despite it being the most fortified strip of land anywhere in the world, visitors are interested in it. He suggested that perhaps visitors are fascinated by the fact that the two countries are side by side but with so much tension in the air.
The capital Pyongyang has several grand buildings, squares and monuments that to many could be considered an indulgence to the ruler or to others; a valuable public service. Samuels referred to the 50-year old Pyongyang subway which serves the city and helps move its citizens around the capital. In true socialist fashion, the subway is a grand affair with marble platforms, huge ornately-decorated interiors and trains that look like they're caught in a time warp.' commented Samuels. He added that in many cities, trains are functional in moving people around but in North Korea they also serve a tourist function in that foreigners come to admire the almost antiquated system that is still very practical.
According to Paul Samuels, North Korea will also appeal to those who want to revisit the past when socialism and communism were implemented in many countries around the world. While others have progressed to more open capitalist markets, North Korea rigidly holds onto its centralised socialist control. 'My two favourite sites to see socialism at work are the Juche Tower and the Workers Party Foundation Monument which are throwbacks to the image that many have the communist Europe of the 1950s,' suggested Samuels.
Both are huge and completely over the top. It's possible to ride an elevator to the top of the Juche Tower to peer over the vastness of Pyongyang. From here, Samuels suggested walking to the Workers Party Foundation Monument with its huge carved stone hands holding a sickle, spear and hammer.
Samuels concluded, 'North Korea appeals not only because it's there but also because we humans are fascinated about things we know very little about. We want questions answered and in many cases, the only way to get an answer is to experience things ourselves. I could imagine many hating North Korea but I know there are others like me who like to broaden our horizons when we travel.'
Paul Samuels is the author of 20 travel books with his latest, 'North Korea Demystifying the Mysterious' having just been released and now available in all good bookshops.
Q1i)What is so special about the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in North Korea?
ii)Why would visitors be fascinated by the DMZ?
Q2.When was the Pyongyang subway built?
A. about a century ago
B. about half a century ago
C.thirty years ago
D. twenty years ago 20
Q3.Find a word in paragraph 2 that is opposite in meaning to 'brand new".
Q4.What practical purposes does the Pyongyang subway serve?
Q5.What does 'others' refer to? (Paragraph 3 line 4)
Q6.Why does Paul Samuels enjoy the Juche Tower and the Workers Party Foundation Monument the most?
Q7. Which of the following statements is NOT true?
A. Many buildings in Pyongyang remind pcople of the communist Europe of the 1950s.
B. The Workers Party Foundation Monument is near the Juche Tower.
C. Visitors may go up to the Workers Party Foundation Monument.
D. Visitors can get a nice view from the top of the Juche Tower.
Q8.Who does 'We' (paragraph 5 line 4)refer to?
Q9.Below are some comments about travelling. Which one closely matches the writer's main opiniOn in paragraph 5?
A. "In order to know more, we must learn and experience it first-hand.'
B. “We are all connected by the love for travel." C. North Korea will leave you speechless."
D. 'Many people hate North Korea because it is a communist country."