new york: window on north korea

© kcna - choir boys singing the nation's glory

a highly remarkable exhibition opens today at the 8th floor gallery in new york that could very well be seen as north korea's latest charm offensive, if not a cleverly timed propaganda event. still, we think it's totally interesting. it so happens that london-based associated press recently opened a full-fledged news bureau in the north korean capital pyongyang, the first western news organization that has been allowed to do so, albeit in a tightly supervised collab with state-owned agency kcna. the two agencies join forces for this show that not only marks the opening of the bureau in pyongyang but also the 100th anniversary of the birth of kim il sung, the founder of the reclusive asian nation. on display are photographs from the kcna archive that illustrate north korea's history, culture and everyday life, in addition to a series of photos of associated press that show the communist state from a western perspective. expect the exhibition to be totally censored, but it's nevertheless interesting to have the sense of access to a country that's sealed off from the outside world [on through apr 13]. location: 17 west 17th street [chelsea].

© kcna - pyongyang's grim downtown skyline