MADE IN DPRK: Part 1 – NE DPRK & Yanbian

Exploring and Understanding North Korea’s  Markets, Manufacturing & New Trends in Consumerism 

JULY 20th to 25th 2017 | Part 1 – NE DPRK & Yanbian  – 6 Days / 5 Nights

Yanji | Tumen | Rason (SEZ) | Chongjin | Chilbosan | Kyongsong | Orang | Hoeryong | Namyang | Tumen | Yanji

Overview

Paektu Cultural Exchange, in collaboration with its advisors and DPRK government partners,  has a designed this academic travel program called MADE IN DPRK to explore and understand North Korea’s rural markets, manufacturing, and new trends in consumerism. This program is targeting academics & professionals (but is open to all, except journalists) to experience first-hand, two dynamically different regions of the DPRK (Rason SEZ, and North Hamgyong) as well as China’s quickly developing northeastern Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.

We will visit factories, shops, and local markets to observe methods of production, manufacturing, distribution, and see trade and joint investments throughout the country. This trip aims, in part, to give visitors a firsthand look at the DPRK’s growing economy and its new consumers through direct observation of business enterprises, site inspections and face-to-face discussions with DPR Koreans, Chinese and other benefactors engaged in various economic activities.

This program also offers the opportunity to see the DPRK’s beautiful mountains and scenic coastline while enjoying and learning to prepare local cuisine and even a homestay experience with rural families.

This program will explore the sensitive relationships between the DPRK and China, Russia, South Korea, the United States, while also looking at creative methods of engagement for collaboration, for positive exchanges and ethical business, investment and trade.

✪  Your Guide: This journey will be lead by Michael Spavor, who has met Marshall Kim Jong Un on multiple occasions and is the individual responsible for taking former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman to the DPRK. Michael arranges delegations to trade fairs, investment seminars, international sports and cultural events to the DPRK and has two decades of experience living in the region and is fluent in the North Korean dialect. He will accompany the group and conduct interactive discussions to offer his insight and experience as well share some fascinating and humorous anecdotes along the way.

 A portion of your delegation fees goes to support our Paektu Rural Education Initiative, which donates basic (non-sanctioned) school supplies and education materials to rural elementary schools in northern Kanggye and Chagang provinces to support early childhood education in less fortunate regions of the country. This is a joint project between Paektu Cultural Exchange and our ministry level DPRK government partner. All donated materials are non-dual use and designed to benefit primary school children.

Paektu Cultural Exchange utilizes its high-level contacts with government officials and more than 20 years of relationships or “Gwan Gye” (Kr:관계, Cn:关系) to organize unique and special meetings, opportunities and activities on this program which would not otherwise be possible.

A private visit with our four expert guides during a factory visit in Pyongyang, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Highlights

✪  Witness and experience DPRK’s unique economy through on-site visits to factories, departments stores, banks, markets, shops and meet with labors, factory workers, officials, and stakeholders.

✪  Work alongside fisherman, farmers and other laborers to experience & evaluate some of the labor practices of this independent socialist nation

✪  Travel through 2 different provinces and by train, and private coach and see key cities, rural towns, fishing villages, farms, and DPRK-China borderland areas

  Engage and converse with DPRK university, middle school, and elementary school students through interactive learning activities and visits.

 Visit Art Galleries, Museums, revolutionary sites 

✪  Visit local around the country and take part private cooking class from a famous restaurant.

✪  Take in the pristine natural beauty of DPRK’s East Sea coastlines, the Chilbo Mountain Range, the Tumen River Triangle Area and more

✪  Exchanges stories and play games with rural families and experience life in a DPRK home at a unique opportunity stay at a local DPRK family’s home overnight.

  Visit the border town of Hoeryong, visit the language school and see the revolutionary sites and the home of the mother and wife of leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, the respected Kim Jong Suk.

Female laborer on a cosmetics factory assembly line producing soap, Sinuiji, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Costs 

JULY 20th to 25th 2017 | Part 1 – NE DPRK & Yanbian 2017 – 6 Days / 5 Nights

 Price: 1590 Euro per person

(Note: Current academics and students may apply and qualify for an academic grant. Contact Us for more information.)

Deposit: 415 Euro to reserve your place

Deadline: Apply before July 3rd, 2017 (Americans & Japanese before June 26th, 2017)

 Trip Extensions

 Paektusan Pre-trip option (+1 Day) Begins on July 19th  – This option can be added to any trip beginning in Yanji, China (more information coming soon).


Final inspection and packaging at a site visit to the Susongchon Combined Foodstuff Factory in Chongjin DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange


“MADE IN DPRK “9 Day & 5 Day Programs

✪  JULY 20th to 28th 2017 | Parts 1 & 2 – Full Delegation MADE IN DPRKExploring and Understanding North Korea’s Rural Markets, Manufacturing & New Trends in Consumerism

JULY 20th to 28th 2017 | Parts 1 & 2 – Full Delegation (9 Days / 8 Nights)

 Price: 2190 Euro per person

(Note: Current academics and students may apply and qualify for an academic grant. Contact Us for more information.)

Deposit: 415 Euro to reserve your place

✪  JULY 25th to 28th/29th 2017 | Part 2 – Pyongyang & Victory Day  MADE IN DPRK: Exploring and Understanding North Korea’s Rural Markets, Manufacturing & New Trends in Consumerism

July 25th to 28th/29th 2017 – 5 Days / 4 Nights

Pyongyang & Victory Day –  1490 Euro – Victory Day in Pyongyang (Fly in Train out) –  (link coming soon)

Locations: Beijing | Pyongsong | Pyongyang | Sinuiju | Dandong | Beijing


  APPLY HERE    CONTACT US


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Itinerary

Thursday, July 20th to Friday 25th, 2017

(6 days / 5 nights) 


Optional Pre-Trip:

July 19th-20th 2017

Mt. Paektu & the Borderlands overnight trip (details to be announced)


Pre-Departure Briefing, Lecture and Workshop:

A pre-departure meeting and workshop will be held in the afternoon on July 20th, 2017. The specific location and time will be sent to registered participants.


July 20th, 2017

Day One: Yanji: Center of China’s Korean Ethnic Minority & Border Trade & the Gateway to the DPRK

We begin our journey exploring the dynamic city of Yanji, located in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of China. This is one of the largest centers of trade and business between the DPRK and China which includes many joint investment projects, factories, and restaurants employing DPR Koreans in the thousands. We will gain a greater understanding of the people and as well as the differences and similarities to compare these regions by exploring markets, local specialty products, and through meeting face-to-face local traders and businessmen involved in cross-border trade. We’ve organized a special interactive workshop with China’s top authority on DPRK-Chinese trade, politics, and economy, to discuss current issues & events, historical calamities, strained relations and the prospects for further development the region followed by a Q&A.

In the late afternoon, we will have a briefing about this region and a comprehensive trip introduction with PCE’s director, DPRK and local expert, Michael Spavor. For dinner, we will visit a Yanbian Chinese joint venture restaurant which employs DPR Korean waitresses, who will perform privately for our delegation and we will also have the opportunity to dance, sing, and chat with them and get their thoughts on life and working in China. Overnight: Yanji

Note: How to get to Yanji, China 

A local Chinese-Korean (조선족, Joseonjok) friend and cross-border trader, selling his DPRK, South Korean and Chinese food products and goods in a small local market. A variety of products like red pepper powders, nuts, edible mountain mushrooms, and roots are all products from the DPRK. They are all proudly displayed as “MADE IN DPRK” and these products are well known and valued in Northeast China to be organic, naturally grown and processed with no artificial preservatives or chemical fertilizers.  Yanji, China (Paektu Cultural Exchange).


July 21st, 2017

Day Two: Tumen Industrial Complex, Borderlands & the Rason SEZ

After a short drive to the Tumen/Namyang border towns, PCE has special permission to visit a joint-venture factory in a private industrial complex where about 2500-3000 DPR Korean laborers are employed to produce electronic goods, engage in food processing and other manufacturing.

We then drive along the tumen river for a glimpse into rural life across the river in the DPRK then arrive at the Quanhe-Wonjong, DPRK-China border crossing for immigration and border formalities to enter the DPRK’s first and most successful Special Economic Zone. We have permission to speak to local officials and view some of the city’s newest infrastructure developments which are under construction or under renovation. We will walk around the Rason City Port, which is currently being used to ship Russian coal to several China ports. We have been invited by the local university to observe classes and speak to some of the students and faculty. We can watch or join in some friendly sports matches. In the evening, we can enjoy European Beer and food at the Czech micro-brewery where we can learn about this European start-up investment. Overnight: Rajin

Quota inspection at a shoe and garment factory in the Rason SEZ, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange).


July 22nd 2017

Day Three: Rajin, Songbong & Factory Visits

We will conduct site inspections of a trading company and a few DPRK-China JV investments (the new Rajin Bag Factory, and the Rajin Cigarette & Tobacco Factory), where we have arranged a factory visit including a talk with the managers to discuss production, labor practices, and how the 2015 and 2016 flooding and the US and European sanctions have affected recent business.

We will visit a local bank to change foreign currency into DPRK won and then visit the massive Central Rason Market to bargain for unique items electronics & artifacts. The Rason market is one of the most amazing sites which can be visited in the DPRK, it is a wonderfully alive, sometimes dramatic and packed with people exchanging goods. PCE will take you on a guided tour sampling some delicacies, help you chat with merchants and have a great time. Note: Rason has the only local bank and actual market open to visitors in the entire country.

Later we will visit a local Department Store and some shops to get a feel of what domestic and imported products are being sold, by who for what prices. In the late afternoon, we will visit the beachfront area to either walk around, talk, play sports or go swimming in the sea with locals. After dinner, we can relax outside in the Rason’s Central Square to sample local drinks, liquors and maybe some “adventurous” snacks and delicacies. Overnight: Rajin

Discussion with assembly line manager at the Bomhyangi factory, Sinuiji, DPRK


July 23rd, 2017

Day Three: The eastern port city of Chongjin, factories & colonial history

 After passing through the internal border departing the Rason SEZ, we will enter North Hamgyong Province, and begin the day on a scenic drive through the countryside. This province is one of the least visited regions in the entire country and was one of the hardest hit during the 1995-1996 famine (known as the Arduous March) and historically was one of the major Japanese areas with direct sea access during the Japanese occupation (1905-1945).

When we arrive in the East coast city of Chongjin, the third largest city in the country and provincial capital, we will take a walk around the central square statues, then we’ve arranged a local trolley ride can give us a better feel for this developing coastal city. We will visit the aging Susongchon Combined Foodstuff Factory which produces various food products, snacks, and alcohols in the region. We then visit a Japanese-Korean run hotel and restaurant for lunch and then the North Hamgyong Provincial City Museum, then a private art gallery where we view and purchase some amazing new and older hand-painted works of art for unbelievably low prices. We will observe a community computer and language class at the newly renovated provincial E-Library. For dinner, we will visit the Chongjin Seamen’s Club, the designated compound for foreign seaman to lodge, bathe, and shop while stopping over in the Chongjin Port. This place is popular among locals for their cold noodles (랭면), Karaoke, interactive song & dance performances, as well as it’s public bathhouse. We will have dinner and drinks until the late evening. Overnight: Chongjin

Street scene near the central market in Chongjin, North Hamgyoung, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)


 July 24th, 2017

Day Four: Chilbo Mountain

In the morning, we embark on a spectacular drive winding along the beautiful east coast through local fishing villages, active open mining facilities, cultivated fields, and pastures.

After a relaxing hike overlooking the sea, we make it down to the beach then to the village where we will stay and engage with locals who are very eager to interact, eat, drink, and play sports with visitors. In the afternoon, we have arranged a special workshop with the local farmers or fishermen where they will demonstrate and teach their catching, harvesting, food processing skills and trades. After we prepare some local dishes together we will enjoy a feast and spend time with our homestay families and other villagers. We will spend the evening together with our new friends then we will each stay at different villager’s homes with their families at the country’s only homestay for foreign guests. After a dinner of garden grown and seasonal specialties we can go down to the beach, look at the sky filled with stars and relax, or for the adventurous, take a midnight swim. Overnight: Oceanside Chilbo Homestay Village

Late night fun sharing food, wine, stories, and electronic goods with one of the homestays in a Chilbo fishing village. Note the father of this household and fisherman shown here in the iPad photo, took this amazing photo of his son and our guest, after showing him some SLR photography basics. Chilbosan, DPRK (Mr. Ri Gwang-Chol, Paektu Cultural Exchange)


July 25th, 2017

Day Five: Chilbo, Kyongsong, Hoeryong and crossing the Tuman Namyang Border

The next morning, we drive to Kyongsong (famous for its hot springs), and along the way, we will visit a special Oceanside revolutionary site and a local fishing village.

 

End of Delegation


This program begins in Yanji, China 

It is recommended to arrive in Yanji, China on the evening of July 19th (or on the morning of July 20th).

How to get to Yanji, China 

This program and ends in Yanji, China

By Car: Arrive in Yanji | July 25th, 2017

Saying heartfelt goodbyes after a friendly sports and language exchange, North Hamgyoung, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)


  APPLY HERE    CONTACT US


Disclaimer: This itinerary is tentative and subject to some changes. It is quite normal and expected for small changes on any delegation to the DPRK. PCE and our hosts always do our best to accommodate within our abilities. In the event of itinerary changes, PCE will arrange relevant alternative activities.  All payments are subject to PCE terms and conditions.

Costs 

July 20th to 25th 2017 – 6 Days / 5 Nights

 Price: 1590 Euro per person

(Note: Current academics and students may apply and qualify for an academic grant. Contact Us for more information.)

Deposit: 415 Euro to reserve your place

Deadline: Apply before July 3rd, 2017 (Americans & Japanese before June 26th, 2017)

 Trip Extensions

 Paektusan Pre-trip option (+1 Day) Begins on July 19th  – This option can be added to any trip beginning in Yanji, China (more information coming soon).


“MADE IN DPRK “9 Day & 5 Day Programs

✪  JULY 20th to 28th 2017 | Parts 1 & 2 – Full Delegation MADE IN DPRKExploring and Understanding North Korea’s Rural Markets, Manufacturing & New Trends in Consumerism

JULY 20th to 28th 2017 | Parts 1 & 2 – Full Delegation (9 Days / 8 Nights)

 Price: 2190 Euro per person

(Note: Current academics and students may apply and qualify for an academic grant. Contact Us for more information.)

Deposit: 415 Euro to reserve your place

✪  JULY 25th to 28th/29th 2017 | Part 2 – Pyongyang & Victory Day  MADE IN DPRK: Exploring and Understanding North Korea’s Rural Markets, Manufacturing & New Trends in Consumerism

July 25th to 28th/29th 2017 – 5 Days / 4 Nights

Pyongyang & Victory Day –  1490 Euro – Victory Day in Pyongyang (Fly in Train out) –  (link coming soon)

Locations: Beijing | Pyongsong | Pyongyang | Sinuiju | Dandong | Beijing

Observing our foreign academic delegation in a new more positive light. Rural farmer home visit after joint labor exercise, North Hamgyong, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)


Trip Extensions

Paektusan Pre-trip option (+1 Day) Begins on July 19th  – This option can be added to any trip beginning in Yanji, China (more information coming soon).

Included in the tour price: 

  • All meals in the DPRK (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, except meals on train out)

  • Special seminars, workshops, and meetings
  • Transportation to and from the DPRK, transportation in the DPRK and back to Yanji, China (Bus in and walk out)

  • 6 nights (5 nights hotel in the DPRK + 1 night in China)

  • Beer and water at lunches and dinners

  • Cultural excursions, delegation activities, cultural guides/translators & general entrance fees
  • Smiles, jokes, anecdotes, some basic DPR Korean language skills and fun & interesting stories every day

Not Included

  • DPRK visa Fee (30 – 60 Euro depending on Nationality)

  • Chinese double-entry visa (required) Note: For more information, contact the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence for more information (location and nationality can be different). Click here for more information or contact the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence for more information. 

  • Additional snacks, liquor, and alcohol (approx. 1 – 3 euros a beer)

  • Souvenirs, personal expenses, and other amenities

  • Tips for Korean guides and the driver (Expect to tip about 10-15 Euro in total per day)

Upgrades and Options

  • Single room supplement fee (if you would like your own single room) Add +50 Euro per night

  • Room upgrades available for additional charges (Deluxe, Suite or Presidential Suite etc.)

✪  Paektu Rural Education Initiative

A portion of your delegation fees goes to support our Paektu Rural Education Initiative, which donates basic (non-sanctioned) school supplies and education materials to rural elementary schools in northern Kanggye and Chagang provinces to support early childhood eductation in less fortunate regions of the country. This is a joint project between Paektu Cultural Exchange and our ministry level DPRK government partner. All donated materials are non-dual use and designed to benefit primary school children.


  APPLY HERE    CONTACT US


Disclaimer: This itinerary is tentative and subject to some changes. It is quite normal and expected for small changes on any delegation to the DPRK. PCE and our hosts always do our best to accommodate within our abilities. In the event of itinerary changes, PCE will arrange relevant alternative activities.  All payments are subject to PCE terms and conditions.

 


Special Lecturer

Kim Kang-il PhD
Yanbian University, Yanbian University, North East Asia Research Centre

Professor Kim Kang-il, PhD, is director of Yanbian University’s North East Asia Research Centre as well as the head of his department. Dr. Kim is a specialist on the development of the region, social infrastructure, the Rason Special Economic Zone, the border regions including official and non-official trade. Has presented on a variety of topics at international conferences: Identity and role of the Korean community in China and peace on the Korean Peninsula“.

 


Special Lecturer

Hyun Dong-il, PhD

Yanbian University, Institute of International Politics

Professor Hyun Dong-il, PhD, is the senior director of the Institute of International Politics, the chairman of Yanbian University’s North East Asia Research Centre, as well as a tenured professor at Yanbian University. Dr. Hyun is Chinese- Korean and lectures in both Chinese and Korean.


DPRK Cultural Interpreter and Guide

spavorMichael Spavor

Guide & Cultural Interpreter
Paektu Cultural Exchange Director 

Michael has spent over 18 years living, working and studying in both North and South Korea and is fluent in the DPRK dialect. He first visited the DPRK in 2001 then in 2005; he became the managing director of a Canadian NGO operating in Pyongyang.

He also has extensive experience in South Korea working for government tourism organizations, but in the past decade, he has focused on organizing and facilitating trade, investment, cultural, academic, and specialized delegations to the DPRK. Michael has strong professional and personal relationships with the country’s leadership, and across different ministries and departments throughout the entire country.

He organized the Dennis Rodman 2013 and 2014 visits, the basketball match between the DPRK and former NBA players as well as cultural heritage restoration projects with the Dutch Prince Claus Fund.

Michael studied International Relations focusing on the Korean Peninsula and East Asian Studies in Canada then went on to study International Trade and Political Science in Korean.


  APPLY HERE    CONTACT US


Disclaimer: This itinerary is tentative and subject to some changes. It is quite normal and expected for small changes on any delegation to the DPRK. PCE and our hosts always do our best to accommodate within our abilities. In the event of itinerary changes, PCE will arrange relevant alternative activities.  All payments are subject to our terms and conditions.