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I am convinced that standardised playgrounds are dangerous, just in another way: When the distance between all the rungs in a climbing net or a ladder is exactly the same, the child has no need to concentrate on where he puts his feet. If you want to do something nice for a child, give them an environment where they can touch things as much as they want.
Get a unique glimpse of daily life in North Korea through the lens of photographer David Guttenfelder.
Photographer David Guttenfelder and I had come to the temple with our minders—the anxious government bureaucrats who accompany foreign reporters everywhere they go in North Korea. A Buddhist temple in North Korea would seem a natural place for a reporter to ask about freedom of worship. In the parking lot, though, as we slid open the door to the van that ferries us everywhere, the monks reappeared. It’s a country where reporting often feels like a series of strange, bloodless battles. Over the past year David and I have been part of a small team of Associated Press journalists who have been able to visit North Korea regularly. But for the most part we still see only what our minders, and the powerful government agencies looming silently above them, allow. Mun, a demure woman in her early 30s who looks much older, sits quietly as her husband speaks. If reporting inside North Korea sometimes leaves David and me with as many questions as answers, it can still offer a rare view into the long-isolated world the Kim family has created. We’ve learned that what we see in passing is often more revealing than our destination. The coal miner is one of about 25,000 North Koreans who have escaped to South Korea since the war. The North Korean government, of course, works relentlessly to present a view of life in which schools are filled with happy, well-fed children, stores are filled with goods, and loyalty to the Kim family is universal. It is easy, after many such encounters, to believe in the caricature of North Koreans as Stalinist robots. In a country with few entertainment choices that have escaped the propaganda bureaucrats, the novel gripped the capital.
You can see that North Korean toughness in the middle-aged women sitting on the ground on a frigid night, seemingly comfortable in cheap cotton overcoats as they watch a fireworks display. The UN Security Council echoed international condemnation Sunday of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test by North Korea, while US President Barack Obama dismissed Pyongyang's offer of a nuclear moratorium. Barack Obama said on Sunday that he does not believe North Korea is sincere in its offer to halt nuclear tests if the US suspends military exercises with South Korea, and that Pyongyang would “have to do better than that”. North Korea's Foreign Minister has said the country will suspend its nuclear tests if the US stops its annual military exercises with South Korea.
North Korea's foreign minister told The Associated Press that his country is ready to halt its nuclear tests if the United States suspends its annual military exercises with South Korea. North Korea has said it will suspend its nuclear tests if the US stops its annual military exercises with South Korea.
He also defended the country’s right to maintain a nuclear deterrent and warned that North Korea won’t be cowed by international sanctions. North Korea appears to have fired a ballistic missile from a submarine off its eastern coast, South Korea says, in a further flexing of its nuclear muscle. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectile fired by the North on Saturday traveled about 19 miles.
North Korea appeared to have launched a missile from a submarine off its east coast on Saturday, South Korea’s defense ministry said, the latest attempt by Pyongyang to bolster its strategic military capabilities against the U.S. Inside a "shoot house" at Camp Bonifas, South Korean infantrymen armed with live ammunition practice close-quarters combat. Inside the spartan barracks of a DMZ guard post, South Korean soldiers pull on camouflage uniforms for another day on the front line. The annual meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly, "is just a puppet show , in which the delegates hand in their vote ahead of the ballot and have no right to speak.
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present.
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. Navajo Indian tribe history as we know it began in northern New Mexico, where a large tribe broke off into what are known today as the Navajo and Apache people. The tribe did not make official contact with the United States government until 1846, when a general invaded New Mexico during the Mexican American War.
But this form, seen not just in the Orient but also in Victorian playspaces, is really about jumping.
Standardisation is dangerous because play becomes simplified and the child does not have to worry about his movements.

It was a cool autumn morning, and there was silence inside the Ryongthong Temple, a hillside complex of Buddhist shrines outside the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Researchers say six decades of a one-family dictatorship have effectively crushed organized religion here. Minders do not introduce journalists to dissidents, and Ryongthong was no enclave of political critics. How to make sense of a country where the leader embraces basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman and a week later threatens to let loose an atomic firestorm on the United States? He is with us at the Children’s Department Store and during rallies in Kim Il Sung Square. Though he is interested in the larger world, curious about American slang and how David and I work, his reverence for his homeland is obvious. Piece by piece, we are assembling a collection of fragile and often confusing moments into a picture of a country that works hard to make itself difficult to understand.
We’ve found that unguarded moments can be captured in photographs taken from bus windows and that wrong turns can provide revealing details.
People know to speak to reporters in surreal, mechanical hyperbole, spouting praise for their leaders. This nation revels in the 77-year-old novel, finding echoes of itself in the tale of civil war and the ruthless, beautiful woman who vowed never to go hungry again.
You can see the longing for knowledge in Pyongyang, where electricity often disappears without warning and where a late-night drive can find dozens of people downtown, standing under streetlights with newspapers and schoolwork.
I first saw it on a Sunday evening in Pyongyang, in a clearly orchestrated show of uniformity and loyalty, when nearly 500 couples danced in the shadow of three stone fists thrust into the sky. Looking through binoculars, I could see dozens of people gathered in the building’s courtyard.
It was the same dance I’d seen a few days earlier, but with the swing and sway of people enjoying themselves. I created OmniFeed 5 years ago to learn how to make websites and I've been improving it ever since. The soldiers are stationed a mile from Panmunjom, a DMZ enclave where meetings between North and South Korea are held. The infantrymen at this mountain location spend much of the day—and all night—patrolling the barrier fence against North Korean intruders. Everyone practices cries of ' Long life!' to Kim Jong-un, then they do some sightseeing and finally go home". Everyone is waiting for the consecration of the heir, Kim Jong-un; no one expects any change to the regime’s disastrous economic policies, which are decimating the population. After sponsoring real estate developments, he is betting his future on following in the footsteps of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, whose birthday today it is, in order to convince the people that he is different from his father and that he can save them from destruction.
He mentions easing of tensions on the peninsula and calls for following through on pledges with regard to February agreement on supplying fuel to North Korea. Kim Jong-il is faced with two possibilities, either the military rebels or starves to death. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power.
The Navajo settled down in several areas of the Southwest, while the Apaches continued as nomads who raided and lived off the land. The tribe largely consisted of of hunters and gatherers until Navajos made contact with Puebloans and Spanish and adopted crop farming of squash, beans and corn.
Legend has it the tribe learned the art of weaving from a spider woman who lived on top of a mountain.
Despite a peace treaty, a series of raids on both sides inflamed tensions between Americans and the tribe. Backed by New Mexican militia volunteers, the general swept through Navajo land, killing the people, burning crops and destroying houses.
Centuries ago Kaesong was home to Korea’s kings, and Ryongthong was a bustling religious center. But if I asked, and one of the monks even hinted at any unhappiness with the regime, I knew he would go to prison, disappearing into a hidden gulag that human rights workers say holds between 150,000 and 200,000 people. It was, as I should have known all along, a temple of totalitarian fakery, a movie set in which the stone steps and ornate wooden doors were barely worn.
But if you stay long enough and look deeply enough, there are days when you learn more than you expected. Every morning they’re waiting for us in the lobbies of our hotels, behemoths of relative luxury built for foreigners. Yet after many attempts to get him to open up, here is what I know about him: He studied English.
One day he takes us to meet a pair of working-class newlyweds in their new three-bedroom Pyongyang apartment, with its 42-inch flat-screen TV.

If they do, are they required to keep it constantly ready to show to foreigners, a living diorama of Kim Jong Un’s promises to bring prosperity to a people accustomed to poverty and famine? Like the time our bus driver accidentally veered off a perfectly maintained Pyongyang street onto a narrow, dusty road pocked with potholes and lined with unlit buildings. Refugees describe a hidden caste system based on ideological background: Three generations of a family can be imprisoned if one member is convicted of a political crime. More than one million North Koreans are estimated to have died or gone missing in the Korean War, and hundreds of thousands more died in a 1990s famine that tore deep into the country.
A guide at the Grand People’s Study House, a musty Pyongyang monolith, sees the book as proof that American women are poorly treated. Even after the bizarre mass rallies and the pledges to die for the motherland end, there are informal gatherings with surprising echoes of small-town America, as gossiping old women and flirting young people fill the streets. The Bonifas troops regularly practice rescue operations in case North Koreans should kidnap U.S.
As the technique improved, weaving became a valuable form or art, which is still highly sought after today. With starvation and death looming, the Navajo surrendered and were forced to walk more than 300 miles to Fort Sumner, where they were interned.
The monks were actors in a theatrical performance about North Korea’s religious freedom. They are places with reliable heat, electricity, and even Internet access but where guests spend their days lost amid acres of scuffed marble and floor after floor of empty rooms, wanderers in these failed attempts at 1970s Las Vegas elegance. The apartment is in one of the city’s showcase housing complexes, its outer skin a grid of blue and white bathroom tiles. Or when we spotted a moldy tower of apartments one evening, each room lit by a single naked bulb casting a sickly yellow light. But the number of refugees has dropped dramatically since late 2011, when Kim Jong Un tightened security along the once porous 880-mile border with China. The government, for reasons never made clear, had the book translated in the mid-1990s, when North Korea was struggling to survive without Soviet aid and the mass starvation was under way. A Kaesong bureaucrat, a haughty man with a fading blue-striped tie, sees the book as a Marxist morality tale. Sometimes, though, the truth about ordinary North Korean life is hidden right inside the Potemkin displays. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. The government also brought Navajo enemies such as the Mescalero Apache to the area, which caused a series of conflicts. There were no ringing bells, no worshippers lighting incense—only two monks in gray robes walking through the complex with ostentatious serenity. He clearly enjoys talking about his country’s history, its leaders, and its monuments. These upscale towers near the Taedong River were built for the minuscule elite of the long-ruling Korean Workers’ Party, or KWP. We have ventured outside the relative prosperity of Pyongyang to cities without modern high-rises, where dimly lit stores contain half-empty shelves. Photos on are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain.
Down in the city, loudspeakers on Kaesong’s empty main street were bellowing songs of praise for Kim Jong Un, the young man North Koreans now call the Supreme Leader. Ho to me) is our translator, our guide, and the man charged with never allowing us out of his sight. In a country where meeting foreigners without official permission is illegal, the pressure on the couple is clearly immense. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.
The couple, we are told, were given the apartment because the wife, Mun Kang Sun, had been declared a Hero of the Republic for her astonishing productivity at a textile factory.
It’s a celebration of a people who, like the North Koreans, are fiercely proud of fighting the Yankees. Most had the blank expressions common at mass rallies, where boredom, resignation, and patriotism often mix together.
That night I couldn’t imagine anyone celebrating life with the stiff dances of that staged event.

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