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DPRK Pavilion a big hit

UNLIKE many other national pavilions, the pavilion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has no queues. But there is still an endless stream of curious people entering the plain-looking structure.

Visitors usually head directly to a stamp desk near the entrance and get their Expo passports stamped with a symbol of the DPRK Pavilion - a man riding a galloping horse - before strolling around the 1,000-square-meter pavilion.

A staff member said the pavilion was popular and about 40,000 people visit each day.

This is DPRK's debut at the World Expo, which boasts a history of 159 years. The pavilion includes a miniature landscape of the country's capital Pyongyang, dubbed "paradise for people."

Located in Zone A, the DPRK Pavilion joins other Asian countries in displaying the concept of developing cities.

The DPRK Pavilion is the only one to decorate its exterior wall with a huge national flag.

In the pavilion, the first thing people see is a model of "The Tower of Juche Idea," a white monument about 170 meters tall in downtown Pyongyang.

"It is the most beautiful piece of architecture in our country and has been built to celebrate the 70th birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Il Sung," said a pavilion staff member, wearing a pin with a portrait of Kim.

Opposite the Tower is a DPRK-style kiosk and pergola, very common in Pyongyang streets. A music fountain in the center of the pavilion is composed of statues of five children standing in a circle, with two releasing a white dove.

"This shows we long for peace," said the staff member who speaks fluent Chinese.

Five TV screens play scenes of DPRK's economic and social development. The videos show subways, stadiums and footage of national sports teams winning gold medals in international competitions such as gymnastics.

A overhead LED screen plays a video clip of a concert commemorating Kim Il Sung's anniversary last year.

Commemorative stamps, mostly illustrating the friendly relationship between China and the DPRK, are popular among visitors. They are all for sale.

One stamp depicts the late chairman of China, Mao Zedong chatting happily with kids. Another set of four stamps depict Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, shaking hands with DPRK leaders.


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