Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
There are no McDonald’s, Starbucks or KFC joints in reclusive North Korea, but there is the Samthaesong Soft Drink Restaurant, which is the North’s take on fast food complete with waffles on the menu. The communist state, which has its “juche” ideal of self-reliance as a guiding principal, said the restaurant offers the finest fast food in the land made from home-grown ingredients.
Even though the restaurant will serve the masses in Pyongyang, most North Koreans outside the capital struggle to find enough to eat in a country that battles chronic food shortages.
Here is the report on the new restaurant from the North’s KCNA news agency in an article it issued on Friday:
The Samthaesong Soft Drink Restaurant located in Moranbong District, Pyongyang is crowded with Korean and foreign customers.
It serves more than 20 kinds of dishes including burgers, waffles, French fries and crispy fried chicken along with soft drinks.
It was opened at the beginning of June last. Most of the tables are arranged by the semicircle windowed wall so that the customers can take food, looking out the street through windows.
It instantly cooks and serves dishes to the customers as they demand.
Manager Ko Jong Ok told KCNA that the restaurant will make world-famous foods with local raw materials to the taste of the Korean people.
Kim Jong-il may be at the forefront of a fashion trend that has just hit the streets of Pyongyang: Using oversized umbrellas as parasols.
The North Korean leader started travelling this year with a soldier whose job is to carry a large black umbrella to protect him from the sun.
Photo:A compilation by Reuters of pool photographs and images provided by North Korea’s KCNA news agency showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-il from 2004 to 2009. The photograph in the lower right was released this week by KCNA
By Jon Herskovitz
The image the world once had of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, with a trademark paunch, platform shoes and a bouffant hair-do, is gone and may never come back. He has now become a gaunt figure with thinning hair who has trouble walking in normal shoes, let alone ones with heels 8-10 centimetres (3-4 inches) high like he used to wear.
Despite the seriousness with which the world takes North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, the isolated country remains a rich source of humour for cartoonists, satirists and comedians around the world.
The diminutive, bouffant-haired leader, Kim Jong-il, has already been the star of a satirical full length cartoon, plaintively singing “I’m so ronery” in Team America, while plotting to blow up the world.