WBEZ | Pyongyang http://www.wbez.org/tags/pyongyang Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Food Mondays: Kimchi and kitsch on the menu of North Korean-run restaurants http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-12/food-mondays-kimchi-and-kitsch-menu-north-korean-run-restaurants-91868 <p><p>We return to our occassional series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/foodmondays" target="_self"><em>Food Mondays</em></a> with a look at a restaurant chain owned by one of the world’s most isolated nations.</p><p>North Korean-run cafes are sprouting up all across Asia. They give customers a rare look inside the eccentric one-party state. While the cafes offer up plenty of kitsch alongside kimchi, you won’t see any portraits of the “Dear Leader.”</p><p>Increasingly, the restaurants have become an important source of foreign exchange for Pyongyang.</p><p>Cambodia-based journalist Sebastian Strangio is a regular at the chain’s Phnom Penh outpost. He wrote about the growing popularity of <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/north-korea-run-restaurants-spread-propaganda-and-kimchi-across-asia/239929/?single_page=true" target="_blank">these establishments</a> for the <em>Atlantic</em>.</p><p>He says it's not the food that brings in the customers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Watch waitresses perform at a North-Korean restaurant in Beijing: </strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0fNxhY6N92Q" frameborder="0" height="345" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-12/food-mondays-kimchi-and-kitsch-menu-north-korean-run-restaurants-91868