Recently the Songdowon International Children’s Camp was renovated in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Since olden times Songdowon on the coast of the East Sea of Korea has been noted for the vast expanse of sandy beach and dense pine forests. Blending in with the natural landscape the children’s camp is literally a beautiful painting.
The buildings were uniquely designed to suit children’s sentiments–Children’s Hall of International Friendship, playing field, gym, open-air wading pool, outdoor archery field, aquarium and aviary. All decorations in each camping house make children feel like stepping into a fairyland, among them lights on the ceiling coming in all shapes such as half moon, circle, five-point star and triangle. The aquarium draws the campers into a sea of fishes. The murals in the auditorium of the above hall depict a butterfly fluttering its wings, animating children and adults alike. The aviary with a lamp in the shape of a bird’s nest has a room for exhibiting stuffed birds including goshawk, the national bird of the DPRK. In the Marine Animal Section children fall into ecstasy as they are touching flatfish, shellfish, sea cucumbers and the like with their hands.
The children’s camp has all conditions necessary for satisfying the varying needs of talented guests. Campers can sing songs in the modernly-equipped theatre in the Children’s Hall of International Friendship or at Karaoke rooms. In the 4-D cinema and electronic recreation rooms they get lost in fantastic dreams. Future stars are playing football and volleyball and shooting arrows in the playing fields.
Ri Jong Ung from Kyongam Secondary School No. 1 in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province said:
“I must be in a dream. The sun goes up and down as usual, but it is such great fun here day and night that I can hardly sleep. The beds, quilts and wallpapers are all what I have seen in a dream.”
Paradise for Children
The children’s camp has become a focus of international attention, not simply because of its splendour. More and more foreigners are envious of the fact that it is the country where children are kings and all their dreams come true.
First, all the costly things in the camp—buildings, facilities, equipment and apparatuses—are freely accessible to the campers.
Han Hyang Ok, a Korean resident in a European country, said:
“I have been on holiday at various camps in Eastern Europe and an international children’s camp in Asia, but I think this is the best one. Enjoying myself in the Songdowon International Children’s Camp, I have felt that it is the one and only paradise for children in the world, their ideal holiday resort.”
Second, it is a holiday home for children of working people, unlike those for children of millionaires or privileged elite in other countries. Most of the campers are children of workers, farmers, coalminers, army officers and other ordinary people, and some of them are orphans.
Kye Ju Song from Pyongyang Secondary School No. 1 said:
“Seeing me off, my mother said in tears that she was very happy to see me, son of workers, leaving for the first-term camping at the best camp in the world.”
Kim Yong Sim from Nampho Orphans’ Secondary School said:
“For this term there are many children from orphans’ schools. It would be a pipedream for orphans in other countries to go on holiday at such a wonderful camp. We should like to extend our grateful thanks to the respected Marshal Kim Jong Un.”
Third, this is all in accordance with the consistent policies of the ruling party and government of the DPRK.
In a speech he delivered in June 2012 at the meeting of the Korean Children’s Union held in celebration of the 66th anniversary of its founding, Kim Jong Un said that to the Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK, dear KCU members are treasures more valuable than billions of tons of gold and represent their hope and future.
With such ennobling love for children he initiated renovation of the Songdowon International Children’s Camp and visited the construction site several times, taking all possible measures to build it into a world-class camp.
Foreign children, too, are welcome to this paradise.