In his presentation Ronny Mintjens will talk about some of the recurring questions that haunt every visitor to this enigmatic country. He will discuss how he sees North Korea’s place in the regional context, both historically and at present, and he will highlight what the visitor to North Korea can and cannot expect to see, hear and learn. He will provide an insight in how he was able to gain access and permission to produce “A Journey through North Korea”, the first photographic album on the DPRK published outside the country.
He will then illustrate his increased involvement in the North Korean football and education sectors. As a former professional football coach he has seen stunning developments in the way the game is taught and learned in the DPRK. During his most recent visit in July 2016 he spent three weeks teaching advanced English to a class of aspiring tour guides and he was thus able to gain unprecedented access to the thoughts, the ambitions, the challenges and the aspirations of North Korea’s next generation. The presentation will be accompanied by many original slides and video clips that highlight the topics and that will give the audience a very rare and privileged glimpse into the real North Korea.
Over the last decade Ronny Mintjens has made ten visits to North Korea, starting off as a tourist, then visiting as a tour leader and a tour designer, and most recently as a visiting professor at the Pyongyang College of Tourism. Over the years he has seen major developments and changes in the country’s infrastructure, its social fabric, its openness towards foreign visitors and its unstoppable drive towards modernization and increased access to information.
Ronny is originally from Belgium but has lived the international life for the past three decades. He has lived and worked in southern and East Africa and in the Gulf, and has been an international educator in Hong Kong since 2006. He is a regular speaker on North Korea and on his football playing and coaching days in Africa. He is a published novelist and photographer who is currently very much involved in educational publishing and traveling around the world. With 106 nations visited so far, he is well placed to make a few comparisons and to ultimately determine that in an increasingly troubled world, North Korea is probably the safest place for the responsible traveler.
Reception open 6:30 pm, talk starts 7:00 pm
RAS Members $100; Non-Members / Guests $150
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to reserve your place and pay at the door.
Copies of ‘A Journey through North Korea’ will be available at the talk at a cost of HK$150 per copy