Glimpses: The Missing 5th Floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyonghang

October 1, 2011 8:00 AM

The always-useful NK News alerted us to Business Insider photo feature of pictures of a Kaesong trip, which passes through the JSA. Among the highlights: a gaggle of tourists getting their photo-op with a North Korean soldier and a weird propaganda poster of an elderly man or woman standing behind barbed wire, shaking a fist and saying “Get revenge a thousand hundred times against the Americans.”

Then we noticed that the propaganda poster was simply one of a whole suite of them, and the story got much more interesting.

Columbia University graduate Calvin Sun student had smuggled a video camera into the country and was staying at the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyonghang. The fifth floor is missing from the elevator panel, but although off-limits to hotel guests was accessible by the stairway. Sun found a virtual gallery of propaganda posters; a few examples below.

The obvious question: what’s up on the fifth floor anyway?

Translation: "This bomb is the product of the Americans. Every product of the Americans is our enemy. Get revenge a thousand hundred times against the Americans."

Translation: "Let’s prepare thoroughly in order to defeat the invaders" (Red); "“The Japanese invaders slaughtered innocent, law-abiding citizens” (blue); "1,000,000 slaughtered/killed; 6,000,000 forced arrests; 2,000,000 sex slaves"

*Thanks to Calvin Sun for the above images and translations taken from his blog.

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Stephan Haggard Senior Research Staff