The Mystery of the Missing 5th Floor at the Yanggakdo and Other Thoughts

Some tourists ended up wandering into the 5th floor without getting caught and posted a blog post with pictures.

They went further to take a video of the 5th floor and uploaded it:

The bloggers claim that the room featured may have been some sort of surveillance, but who knows?

This blog, our sekai (world), also has a very extensive record of the bloggers’ encounters in North Korea.

I’ve followed some blogs and read accounts of travels in North Korea and one thing seems to be clear: most of the tourists who do visit North Korea mention feeling as if they were participating in a giant play where everything was planned and staged. Plastic fruit at a fruit stand multiple individual groups wandered past, a hotel on the middle of an island with a missing secret 5th floor off-limits to tourists, without transportation, the other (unfinished) Ryugyong whose foreign funding sources were discontinued.

Girls walking in steps???

The daily life of North Korean citizens in Pyongyang that these tourists witnessed seemed still rather far away from what one would describe as “comfortable” at least economically speaking, though it is well known that the North Koreans that the tourists did see were living a privileged life far from the actual “average North Korean life”. It saddens me to think about what life could be like outside the prying eyes us “imperialist aggressors”.

While individual accounts cannot be completely taken for absolute truth, the tourist blogs give me a very good idea of why somebody would want to leave the country.


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