It's an imposing old structure. The Soviets certainly liked their right angles and straight lines. I couldn't help but think of 1984 when I saw it, for surely some devious Commie actions went down in there. It's not something to think about, but it's an integral part of Korean history. The popular Korea blog The Marmot's Hole colorfully describes the building here:
Indeed, if you look closely, you can see the tread marks on either side of the walkway. Despite its dark past, I enjoyed seeing this piece of history up close. Did the students? Hard to say. Most were too busy being kids and trying to stay dry, but I'll ask them about it later. The teachers looked like they had a good time though. Ms. J apologized for the rain, but it couldn't be helped. A little rain never hurt anyway. It was good to get out and see more historical sites.A symbol of the tragedy of division and war and a testament to the power of Soviet civil engineering, this building — which you read about here — was erected in 1946 as the local headquarters of Ye Olde Workers Party of Korea, North Korea’s ruling party. Built in that charming Soviet style favored in North Korea’s early years — see here for many more examples — the building took a licking during the battles for the Iron Triangle but kept on standing.And why yes, those are tread marks from a Sherman tank leading up the steps.
As I mentioned before, the Labor Party Building's part of the Cheorwon DMZ tour, which the Joongang Daily wrote about here. Gracie, Rochelle, and I took the tour on a sunny day in October and enjoyed it. I'll have the post about it up soon. It's been sitting half-finished in the drafts folder for some time now. Until then, here are a couple pictures from the excursion:
At the Cheorwon Peace Observatory. The DMZ is behind it, but pictures of the DMZ aren't allowed.
At the blown apart tracks of the old Woljeong-ri Station.
More to come later!
The Marmot's Hole: Korean War Ruins of Cheorwon. An excellent pictorial of Cheorwon's war relics. Good info, too.
The Marmot's Hole: Former Cheorwon Office Of The Workers' Party Of Korea. More pictures and info about the Labor Party Office.