The Monument to the Party Founding is perhaps the most well-known monument in the DPRK. Everyone who knows anything about the DPRK has seen a picture of this monument.
The monument, as its name indicates, commemorates the founding of the Korean Worker’s Party (or KWP). It consists of three giant hands holding the symbols of each member of society: writing brush, sickle and hammer. These represent intellectuals, farmers and workers.
Connecting the hands is a circle to represent unity. Unity is a common theme running throughout everything we saw in North Korea. I saw similar rhetoric in places in South Korea. It seems both governments say they want unity, although I’m not sure I believe either of them.
When I first laid eyes on the monument I felt that I had finally ‘done’ Pyongyang. Apart from the Mansudae Grand Monument this is the thing that defines Pyongyang (to me at least). And just like the statues at Mansudae this thing was a lot bigger in real life.
A local guide showed up and she took us the inside of the monument. I never realised that inside the monument were murals depicting the history of the KWP.
I noticed that in a similar way to the Tower of the Juche Idea, the buildings flanking the monument were symmetrical. This seems to be the way that the DPRK designs places in Pyongyang and it makes the city look a lot more impressive.
So with our pictures taken we headed back to the bus to find out what the next step in our tour would be.