Monday, August 23, 2004

Sea Change for North Korea?: Interesting letter from a recent visitor to N. Korea. His purpose was to deliver wheelchairs to the victims of the trainyard explosion that occurred some months back (and I complain when my grande mocha takes too long at S'Bucks - I suck).

While the author notes with an equal mix of surprise and joy over a relative boom of capitalism cropping up in the country, what I found most amusing was his description of the consequences of more money: more traffic.
-- We observed our first car accident in Pyongyang. Never thought I would see that, but a further sign of the amount of traffic on the road.

-- An interesting corollary concerns traffic safety. The Korean
Association for the Disabled is distributing a fold out brochure for adults and children that teaches basic traffic safety tips for both pedestrians & drivers. We noticed something interesting that I have not seen in other countries: about 50 m before a pedestrian cross walk (which itself features a familiar blue triangular sign) the Koreans have a red triangle that warns the driver of the coming pedestrian crosswalk. Very caring.

As we all know, and they shall soon learn, even prosperity has its costs.

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