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Photographer's Note

This was a test of my ability to hold a camera still in low light on a moving escalator – but the result wasn’t too bad.

One of the amazing things about Pyongyang’s metro is the depth at which the underground lines have been constructed. The escalators down to the station platforms seem to go on forever, and like the rest of the country, there are no advertising posters or billboards whatsoever.

There is an interesting website about the Pyongyang metro at www.pyongyang-metro.com which claims that the system was built to link secret underground military facilities, and that it includes secret government-only lines, “although the extent of these, if they exist, is unknown”, and a wartime operations command post “from where some 5000 members of the elite will run the anticipated nuclear war with the West”. I have no idea whether this is true, but most westerner visitors to Pyongyang will surmise that the deep metro tunnels serve a double purpose as bomb shelters.

When I was in Pyongyang last year, I asked my guide whether this was true. He laughed and said of course it was not true. He said the tunnels were deep because there was a layer of soft rock 100-150 metres below the surface which made it easy to dig the tunnels. A colleague who visited the previous year asked the same question. The answer he got was that the tunnels were deep to keep the people warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Anyhow, whatever the truth, I thought the escalators made an interesting graphic image. I’ve had this on my computer for a while, but something made me feel like posting it today.

Maybe I should have saved this one for today

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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