Vietnamese Art Troupe
at Pyongyang Airport
| Pyongyang Diary

Happenings from around North Korea

You never quite know just who you will see at Pyongyang — Mohammed Ali, Gérard Depardieu, Werner Herzog, Michael Palin, Mike Pompeo. Even the likeness of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

This week we just ran into a Vietnamese song and dance troupe being seen off after their performance on 14 April to celebrate the birth of North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung (15 April 1912 — 'The Day of the Sun') as part of the annual Spring Arts Festival.

Vietnamese Art Troupe in Pyongyang

The Koreans selected to wave off the delegation stood waving for 15 minutes as the delegation boarded the plane — all of this filmed for the next day's news in Pyongyang. Our Chinese colleague at the office remembers as a little boy being sent out to Beijing airport to wave a welcome to Kim Il Sung on his visit in the early 70’s — all great fun at the time though he did not have a clue who he was welcoming.

North Korea and the former country North Vietnam established formal diplomatic relations on 31 January 1950. During the Vietnam War, North Korea provided substantial economic and military aid to North Vietnam — in 1967 North Korea sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam to help defend Hanoi, this involvement was only officially recognised by the DPRK in 2001.

In the late 1990’s relationships were rather moth-balled but dramatically improved when Vietnam hosted the Trump-Kim summit on 8 February 2019 in Hanoi.

Shots of Air Koryo on the tarmac

The short ceremony gave the opportunity to take some close up shots of Air Koryo planes on the tarmac.

Koryo Tours travels to North Korea every month. 'Pyongyang Diary' is our regular blog post on happening around the North Korean capital and the DPRK.


Nicholas Bonner

Nick Bonner is the co-founder & CEO of Koryo Tours & Studio

Originally from the UK, Nick has been running tours to North Korea and other extraordinary destinations for over 30 years. Since his first trip to North Korea in 1993, he has pioneered tourism to North Korea and is a well-known face and name in international media and academic conferences. He also curates and runs unique tours to Koryo's worldwide destinations, including Uzbekistan, where he is fascinated by the Korean connection and the intriguing forbidden art gallery in the middle of the desert. 

Nick is an expert in North Korean art and runs Koryo Studio, an art gallery specialising in North Korean art and film. He has co-produced three feature-length documentaries and the first foreign-North Korean-produced feature-length film, Comrade Kim Goes Flying.

Koryo Studio Documentaries
Crossing The Line | A State of Mind | The Game of Their Lives
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