Study Guide

Pyongyang Chapter 1

By Guy Delisle

Chapter 1

  • At the Pyongyang airport, Guy Delisle’s bag is being rooted through by a customs official—if that’s what you call them in North Korea. Pyongyang is the capital of the country.
  • The agent is suspicious about 1984, but once he discovers that Guy is visiting the SEK (whatever that is), he ushers Guy through.
  • Guy meets his guide, and off they go.
  • After a quick debriefing on some of North Korea’s rules—for example: “All travel must be by studio vehicle, in the company of an interpreter and/or guide” (1.15)—Guy and his guide visit a 22-meter-tall bronze statue of Kim Il-Sung, who, despite being dead since 1994, is still the president of North Korea.
  • At his hotel, Guy meets up with his coworker Sandrine, who catches him up on what is job is to be. Guy and his colleagues are utilizing North Korea’s inexpensive resources to do animation corrections on a French cartoon.
  • Guy and Sandrine meet Richard, who works for another animation studio, and they all go out for a drink.
  • The whole time, the guides accompany Guy, Sandrine, and Richard from afar.