Inside North Korea's Summer Camp for Kids

ABC News
Inside North Korea's Summer Camp for Kids
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Inside North Korea's Summer Camp for Kids (ABC News)

North Korea might not be the destination that comes to mind when kids think summer camp.

Maybe it should be.

More than 300 kids from around the world flocked to the Songdowon International Children's Camp in Wonsan, which reopened today, for eight days of summer fun. The camp boasts giant water slides, a private beach, volleyball courts and -- of course -- statues of dictators.

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"At the end there is a talent show," said 19-year-old Linus Jamal Faustin, who came with a group of 16 from Tanzania's Laureate International School in Dar es Salaam. "We are ready to show them all how to dance."

Campers from Russia, China, Vietnam, Ireland and Tanzania sleep in air-conditioned rooms with video games and TVs. Officials say kids are welcome from everywhere -- including the United States.

But lest they forget they're in North Korea during all the fun, there are also giant bronze statues of former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Ill on the campgrounds.

Songdowon is a popular beach destination on North Korea's east coast, famous its clear waters and sandy, white beaches.

The summer camp opened nearly 30 years ago. Its mission is to deepen relationships with other countries, and give children from those countries the chance to bond with kids from North Korea and explore a nation many people don't know much about.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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