North Korea’s Subway Is Better Than New York City’s in One Way

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Photo: Jeffrey Marlow

Overall, Pyongyang's subway system, which Wired's Jeffrey Marlow visited recently, seems pretty creepy, in that it is "dimly lit," filled with portraits of Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung, and silent save for the "patriotic music" that "echoes faintly across the stone floor." Also, if you sneeze, your family gets sent to a reeducation camp for three generations. 

But there is one feature of the North Korean subway that we appreciate, and that is the rotating newspaper rack thing seen above. Sure, most people in New York just read stuff on their phones or tablets these days, or in their own books or magazines. But sometimes your phone dies, or you just don't have anything to read. It's just nice that North Korea's despots have put some thought into giving commuters something to do on the platform while they're waiting for their trains. In this case it happens to be "absorb propaganda," but still.