Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Tour this beautiful, totally not suspicious North Korean water park

Water parks can carry a lot of baggage—allegations of financial malfeasance and employee intimidation, not to mention literal decapitation—but, hey, we’re always willing to give these oases away from daily life and summer heat a fair shake. Even knowing what we know now, surely there’s nothing wrong at this beautiful and totally not at all suspicious 37-acre water park in the heart of Kim Jong-un’s dystopian nightmare nation of North Korea.

As shared by Digg, the oddly upbeat video follows YouTuber Simon Wilson as he cavorts with some pals in matching swim trunks through Pyongyang’s genuinely gorgeous Munsu Water Park, drinking beers and leaping off high dives that probably would never clear American safety regulations (we say “probably” because, you know, Schlitterbahn). Contrary to many portraits of the poverty-stricken nation, Munsu looks like a vibrant, bustling locale where everyone’s having a grand old time—which, of course, can’t help but remind us of just how aggressively the country dictates how it’s perceived by outsiders.

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Wilson is all smiles, though, as he sits down to discuss the admittedly surreal experience with a friend and guide. “The people who yell loudest about North Korea—I guarantee you, they’re the people who’ve never been here before,” says Wilson’s buddy.

Hey, maybe he’s right, but, in all fairness, the people yelling are probably also screaming something to the effect of “We shouldn’t have to remind you not to trust North Korean amusement parks.” 

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Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.