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A fellow blogger peers into the heart of darkness

Mr Eugenides has been way out east, and has sent me some photos from the DMZ front line between the Pyongyang rogues and free Korea:

I've long felt that Eastern Bloc uniforms are really rather poor examplars of military tailoring, and the helot above makes the point admirably.

Don't think much of the DPRK's architecture either. As Mr E notes, "They show the North Korean "Panmungak" pavilion, which apparently had an extra storey added in the 90's in order not to be dwarfed by the corresponding building on the South Korean side, and a South Korean soldier watching the watchers".

I am also indebted to Mr E for a link to the dress code for civilian visitors to the DMZ, with the following specifically forbidden:

1 - Shirts/tops without sleeves or that expose the midriff and tank tops. Also shirts / tops with insulting, profane, provocative or demeaning representations
2 - Frayed cutoff shorts, gym shorts and shorts that expose the buttocks
3 - Any items of outer clothing of a sheer variety
4 - Sports uniforms or athletic clothing of any kind kind including track pants or other stretch pants or warm ups.
5 - Shower and 'flip-flops' shoes
6 - Items of military clothing not worn as an integral part of a presecribed service uniform.
7 - Oversize clothing, commonly known as 'gangster' clothes, including oversize baggy long pants, t-shirts or sweatshirts and 'biker' dress such as leather vests and leather riding chaps.

So, while that would not exactly cut a swathe through my wardrobe, it would make life rather difficult for rappers, surfers, San Fran clones and glam rockers.

Further, nationals from the following are not allowed into the DMZ from the US side:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Moldova, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China-Includes Hong Kong and Macau, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen

A bit rough on our friends from the Baltic, as Mr E noted in his e-mail. As to the others, might Nigerians be attempting 419 frauds by semaphore? Armenia appears to be the sole USSR successor state excluded from the list. I suspect Uncle Sam just forgot.


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Blogger Colin Campbell said... 7:49 am

The last of the cold war. I am glad we are on the happy capitalist side. Been to Korea many times. Not been to this depressing part of the country. This pictorial essay is enough. Thank you.  

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