Monument to Party Founding
Munsu Street, Pyongyang, North Korea
Monument to Party Founding Pyongyang Reviews
Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party Feb 12, 2017
Having been entertained at the Mass Dance held in honour of 102nd anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birthday it was time to move across the square and visit what was the backdrop to the dancing – the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party. I had attempted to walk the hundred metres or so to the monument earlier, unaccompanied by a guide, and was asked to return to the group as the open monument was ‘not open’.
When we arrived as a group, a few minutes later, it was ‘open’.
There is some debate outside North Korea as to when the Workers’ Party of Korea was actually founded with most observers of the view that is was two – four years post the 1945 date claimed by North Korea. This debate seems a trifle petty but ‘confusion’ around dates is not limited to the date of the Workers’ Party’s foundation. Readers may be aware that the birth date (and indeed birthplace) of all three Kim Leaders is contested. Estimates of the current Leader, Kim Jong-un’s age range from 28 to 30 (2014). Allowing a 10% margin of error, 1945 seems reasonable for the birth of the Party.
The monument was opened in 1995 the celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea. It is very obviously in the soviet style both in terms of size and content. It measures 50 metres high with a diameter of similar size. It consists of three upward pointing concrete hands, one holding a hammer (representing the workers), one holding a sickle (representing the peasants) and one holding a paintbrush (representing the intellectuals). Those familiar with the Soviet hammer and sickle will note the addition of the paintbrush – unique to North Korea. While the Soviets were not particularly fond of intellectuals they are embraced by the Workers’ Party of Korea – especially, I imagine, those educated at the Kim Il-sung University here in Pyongyang.
The three hands, which symbolize the three pillars of the state, are held together, in unison, by a large concrete band on the outside of which are inscribed the words “Long live the Workers’ Party of Korea which organises and guides all victories for the Korean people”. The inside of the band is lined with three bronze reliefs of workers, peasants and intellectuals in the usual heroic poses I had, by this stage of my trip, come to expect.
What many don’t realise is that the two red apartment blocks to the rear of the monument actually form part of the monument, being socialist red flags.
The monument is on the east side of the Taedong River, in direct line of sight of the Mansudae Grand Monument containing the massive bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the latter of which holds the title of Eternal General Secretary, Workers’ Party of Korea. He was posthumously appointed to this role in January 2012.
No-one apart from the North Koreans build monuments like this any more. In fact North Koreans have been, and continue to be, engaged in places like Angola to assist in monument building.
Behind the monument is a gift shop and art studio. By this stage of the afternoon most of us, including me, were more interested in finding a toilet so the gift shop missed out this time round. While I didn’t examine the gift shop I did have a look around the art studio (translate shop) but nothing really appealed to me. Anyway, we had a most peculiar flower show to go to now so not much time for dilly dallying.
Part of the North Korea - Pyongyang travel blog
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Monument for the 50th anniversary of the Workers Party Apr 30, 2010
The Monument to Party Founding was build to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Workers Party in North Korea. All 3 symbols, the hammer, sickle and brush, are 50 meters high (about 160 feet) and the surrounding stone ring is 50 meters in diameter.
The platform on which the monument rests is 70 meters (about 230 feet) in diameters and marks the 70th anniversary of DIU which means Down with Imperialism Union.
The hammer, sickle and the brush represent respectively the worker, the peasant and the intellectual. The monument lays opposite of the statue of Kim Il Sung on Munsu Hill.
When we arrived at the monument, we were greeted by a guide, who explained all this information to us. Painters were busy with renovating the letters on the ring.
She explained to us about the symbols as well as the stone carvings on the inside of the ring. Perhaps not the most exciting place to visit, but worth for the bizarre & craftmanship of the monument.
As all the visits to the various sites were included in the tour, it was unknown to me about the costs. That's why I made them free.
Part of the list What to see and do in North Korea
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