Munsu Water Park Shows Communists Can Have Fun Too!
Posted by Rachel S on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
With average highs in the summer months of just the high 70s to low 80s, Pyongyang North Korea seems a nippy location for a water park, but nothing so mundane as weather can dampen the spirits of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un when he puts his mind to something. Munsu Water Park opened in the capital city with all the fanfare one expects from the communist nation including a massive military parade and more people in uniform and formal attire than in swim suits frolicking in the water.
North Korea’s Premier Pak Pong Ju said at the opening ceremony, “The water park is the edifice built thanks to Korean Peoples’ Army service personnel’s spirit of devotedly carrying out any project and their fighting traits as they are ready to flatten even a high mountain at a go in hearty response to the order of the supreme commander.”
When your reality is forced indoctrination into the Korean Children’s Union (which some have compared to the Hitler Youth organization) and oppressed life thereafter, a dip into a water park (even in chilly weather) would likely be a thrill. But according to a recent defector who served in the military, “The water park is nothing more than a construction project aimed at the high-ranking, wealthy cadres of Pyongyang. Party cadres looking to spend a lot of money can go there, but for everyday people, enjoying a water park is unthinkable.”
The water park’s design is attractive but mundane by American and European standards, but for those who have never seen a world-class facility, it should amaze and impress. In the official photos released to the West, we can see four and two lane racer slides, approximately eight outdoor single and multi-rider slides and a winding river for leisurely floating. This would likely be more enjoyable in the slightly warmer summer months – were it not for the monsoons prevalent in the area from June through August…
There is also an indoor facility which, given the often colder weather, will probably see the most use. The covered portion of the park looks to contain a small wave pool, indoor pool and several smaller curving slides. The most distinguishing feature of the indoor play area is the eerily accurate statue of late leader of the nation Kim Jong-Il. The notion of splashing and playing under the watchful eye of a former totalitarian leader is unsettling to say the least. And if you get bored at the water park, you can check out the nearby Embassy of Iran which is within walking distance. The party never stops in Pyongyang…
image sources: NYPost.com, DailyMail.co.uk, QZ.com, NKLeadershipWatch.com,