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The Indispensable Guide for Your Next Trip to North Korea
You may chuckle at the suggestion, but a visit to Pyongyang, which is "probably the world's best-preserved open-air museum of socialist architecture," may be entirely warranted. If you decide to plan a visit, you'll definitely need a copy of Pyongyang Architectural and Cultural Guide, which was released this spring by DOM Publishing and edited by its founder, Philipp Meuser, "a Berlin-based architect who's worked in locales as far flung as Kazakhstan, Sarajevo and Bosnia/Herzegovina and India."
The book is divided into objective content (images, maps, state-mandated information) and subjective content (commentary, criticism, non-state-mandated information) in two distinct volumes, which should help you navigate past the prying eyes of customs officials.
According to Campbell-Dollaghan, "many of the buildings in Meuser's guide are little known to foreigners not familiar with the country. The book frames the buildings around Kim Il-sung's concept of Juche, a mantra of self-reliance and autonomy that he invented in the 1950s. Meuser also examines the city on an urban scale, concluding that 'the fathers of modern architecture would have approved of Pyongyang.'"