North Korea's International Friendship Exhibition is located 150 kilometers north of Pyongyang, on the Mysterious Fragrant Mountain - Myohyangsan. The exhibition stands in a beautiful valley, surrounded by fragrant forests, scenic cliffs and waterfalls with the purest water. The exhibition hall opened in 1978, to display a collection of gift received over the years by the late president Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il from representatives of foreign countries.
The exhibition has various vases, swords, custom made saddles, silver dishes, inlaid chests and boxes, paintings, elephant tusks decorated with intricate carvings, handicrafts made of rare minerals and ebony and what not. All together there are 219,000 of gifts from 178 countries of the world – if you spent just one minute per gift to look at, you would have had to stay in the hall for half a year without sleeping.
The largest gifts are personalized railcars from Stalin and Mao Zedong - standing on train tracks in a separate room.
Curiously, among the exhibits of the museum, there are even presents from South Korea's former presidents, other senior officials and representatives of the business elite. For example, the museum has a silver cigarette case, a silver ashtray and a silver-plated vase, presented to Kim Il Sung by the "architect" of the South Korean economic miracle - the former president of the Republic of Korea, Park Chung-hee, a tea set and golden cutlery from the president Chun Doo-hwan, a porcelain vase and a set of silver teapots from the former head of the government, Roh Tae Woo, and others.
Other curious gifts include a boombox from the Chinese Communist Party, a gem-encrusted sword from Yasser Arafat, a basketball and a Space Jam VHS signed by Michael Jordan, silver chopsticks from Mongolia, bullet proof limousine cruisers from Soviet times, a glass vase from Gorbachev, a robot drink server, Yamaha organ, a football signed by Pele, a bear head on a satin pillow from the Romanian dictator Ceausescu, a crocodile skin briefcase from Fidel Castro, polar bear skin from Canada, a decorative chessboard from Gaddafi, a painting from Cambodian Prince Sihanouk, showing a broom sweeping the Southeast Asian map of an American MP, and a smiling gator holding a tray with coctail glasses from Nicaragua.
The aim of this exhibition is to show the solidarity and support of North Korea by other countries. The visitors of the museum are also informed that all the presents are proof of the endless love and respect to the Great Leader of North Korea.
Gallery: The International Friendship Exhibition of North Korea