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Posted inArt

Unicorns, Ghosts, and a North Korean Past

CHICAGO — Last December, rumors about a North Korean unicorn lair circulated the internet. Word got out that an ancient Korean king once rode this mythical beast. But soon it was discovered that this “unicorn” was not an actual unicorn, but rather an English mistranslation of the word “unicorn.” According to a report on International Business Times, the animal was actually a “beast with a dragon’s head, a deer’s body, the tail of a cow, hooves and a mane.” Because North Korea is known in the US for mysteries like these, and because the internet loves to consume bizarre or “weird” news, headlines about the supposed mythical unicorn creature lived for a while in readers’ minds.

Posted inOpinion

This North Korean Art Factory Will Build Monuments to Your Leaders

Here’s something you may not have known: there’s a massive art factory in North Korea that makes monuments, sculptures, statues museums, and more for at least a dozen countries around the world. In a fascinating story in Bloomberg Businessweek, writer Caroline Winter lays out the details — or at least those she can gather — of Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang, which takes up 30 acres, employs 4,000 people, 1,000 of them artists, and also includes a soccer stadium, paper mill, sauna, and kindergarten. Why does every story that comes out of North Korea seem somehow more bizarre than the last?