My First Two Visits to Moscow in 1990During the Cold War era, going to Moscow was like going to the moon. In 1990, I was able to go to Moscow twice in August and in October. While I was there in October, Mikhail Gorbachev got his Nobel peace prize. Not all Russians were happy about his prize, because they thought Gorbachev sold their country to the West. This was Russia's internal problem. I was curious about everything about the Soviet life.
- Red Square (1990). Soviet Union's Address No.1.
- St. Basil's Basilica at the Red Square. This Cathedral was built on the order of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) during the period 1555-1560. He was very happy to be able to expand the Russian territory to the Volga River by conquering the city of Kazan.
- Red Square guards after their duty at the Lenin Mausoleum.
- Lenin's Statue at the Red Kremlin park.
- Bolshoi Theater
north of the Red Square.
Czar's Seat in the Theater.
- Moscow Subway (1990). Russians are very proud of Moscow's subway system. It was indeed great and it still is.
- Pepsi Cola. In 1990, the Cold
War was beginning to melt down. Moscovites started wearing blue jeans
and drinking Pepsi Cola. This photo was taken at Moscow's Arbat Street
as the street sign shows.
- Soviet Army Uniforms (1990). Alas, I spotted Soviet soldiers. The Soviet soldiers who came to Korea in 1945 were wearing the uniforms looking exactly like these. During this 45-year period, Americans changed their uniforms several times, but Soviets did not. I was indeed happy to see those uniforms again.
- Kitaisky Restaurant. Chinese
Restaurant in Moscow. I went there with my Russian friend. It was
his first time to go to a Chinese restaurant. The Soviet communist
system had a strict control of restaurants. In 1990, there was only
one Chinese restaurant in Moscow with eight million people.
- Click here for more photos from Moscow.
Koreans I met in Moscow during my two visits in 1990
- Koreans from the North. I met many Koreans from the North wearing Kim Il-Sung bottons, but most of them refused to talk to me. They thought I was a CIA agent from the South. Yet, I was able to find a group of very friendly Koreans from the North. They did not mind having a photo with me.
- Pyongyang Restaurant was
owned and operated by the DPRK government or the Kim Il-Sung family.
It was close to the Kholfuznaya Metro station (now called Xugarebskaya
station). The waiters in this restaurants were highly trained
ideologists, and attempted to convert me. I was`alone, and there
were six of them talking for two hours. I enjoyed talking with them.
- Dmitriy Pak was a participant of a conference which I was attending in Moscow.
- Victor Kim came to my talk when I was giving a seminar talk at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna (north of Moscow).
- Click here for a
webpage covering Koreans from Central Asia.
Since then, I went to Russia and other former Soviet countries often, but I did not have enough time to organize my photos to post to this web page. However, you may be interested in some of the photos I took during my recent visit to Russia.
- Koryo Restaurant in Moscow.
This Korean lady from Tashkent (Uzbeckistan) owns and manages a
Korean restaurant in Moscow. This restaurant is oriented toward
North Korea, and its menu is filled with items popular in the North.
The waitresses are very nice-looking Korean ladies from Pyongyang,
and they are also highly-educated. They said they live at the DPRK
embassy compound, and they have to go back to their compound in an
embassy van after their working hours.
- With her younger brother, she manages her restaurant.
- The Drink stand serves various beverages produced in the North. Look at the red-and-blue stripes. They came from the flag of the People's Republic.
- One of the Pyongyang photos on the wall of this restaurant.
Naturally, I was interested in those girls from Pyongyang, but it was quite clear that I could not take them out. I then proposed photos with them, but they refused. They could not be photographed during their working hours (called "Bongsa Sigan").
Yet, we exchanged many interesting ideas. We talked about the Pyongyang-Nampo area. When I asked about whether they have Mudang and Goot. They said their fatherland (North Korea) is an advanced country, and Mudang and Jesus are relevant things in backward countries.
I then asked whether they have "Yut" (Korean rice candy). I asked this question because Yut was prohibited during the war period (1941-45) because Japanese authorities did not want Koreans to waste rice for yut, and they do not have enough rice in the North. Their answer was their yut is made from "Gang-Naei" (corns). I then asked them about rice Yut. They said they have rice Yut too, plenty of it.
- North Korean Embassy in Moscow is
located at the area between the main campus of Moscow State University
built in 1953 and Moscow's Victory Park which was completed in 1955.
Until recently this area was an empty land, and there are many new
high-rise apartment buildings. Two of those tall buildings are seen
in this photo.
Joseph Stalin's secluded house is still in the middle of a thick forest near this area.
- The Embassy was closed when I went there. It was Sunday. I did not have to go in to make troubles.
- Big Apartment Building is in the Embassy in the Embassy ground. Indeed, this building can accommodate those waitresses working for the Koryo Korean restaurant.
- A roofed walkway connects this building to the Embassy Chancery.
- Propaganda Window and another view of the four-story apartment building.
- Some of the Photos in the propagnda window. Captions are written in Russian.
Click here for a more complete Moscow page.
copyright@2010 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.