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City limits in North Korea

North Korea is calling for a new peace treaty with the US. What is really going on here? The regime may be as repressive as ever, but a recent visit to Pyonyang revealed subtle signs of change

By Gary Jones   January 2010

Dancing to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the Korean War takes place at the foot of Juche Tower in Pyongyang

The city limits of Pyongyang are clearly defined against the surrounding countryside. For a moment, viewed as my flight from Beijing began its descent, the meticulously planned North Korean capital resembled an architect’s model: dreamed up and constructed elsewhere, and then dropped into place from on high.

With a population of just under 3m, Pyongyang is small by modern Asia’s sprawling standards; the totalitarian government has ensured that any enlargement of the city has been carried out along…

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