A Swiss mountain lover explores North Korea’s peaks – NKNews Podcast Ep. 227


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Mountains loom large in North Korea, not only dominating the topography but also much of the political symbolism of the regime. The country’s history books tell tales about the heroic exploits of Kim Il Sung and his revolutionaries battling against Japanese imperialists from mountain outposts. Mount Paektu on the Chinese border is the alleged birthplace of Kim Jong Il. Mount Kumgang on the east coast is renowned for its natural beauty and once drew thousands of South Koreans as part of an inter-Korean tourism project. The terrain of the Korean Peninsula and the role it plays in the lives of the North Korean people attracted the attention of one Swiss mountain lover nearly a decade ago, leading to the development of a museum exhibition and film that explores the relationship between the country and its topography. This week, Beat Hachler joins the podcast to discuss the way mountains connect the people who live near them, his team's travels to both North and South Korea for the film and why the project was the most difficult one he’s ever undertaken. Hachler is the director of the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern and organizer of the museum’s ongoing exhibition “Let’s Talk About Mountains: A Filmic Approach to North Korea.” About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot (@JaccoZed) exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.

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