Victorious War Museum
The main entrance of the Victorious War Museum
|Established||April 1974 (current location)|
The museum was first set up in August 1953 and built in the Central District of Pyongyang, initially named as the "Fatherland Liberation War Museum." In April 1963, it was relocated to the Sosong District and re-established in a purpose-built building compound.
In 2014, the museum was renovated and upgraded significantly and the new design included a building spanning across the nearby Botong River, together with a large panorama-style display hall at the top.
The general character and influence of the museum reflects the official North Korean view of their success in fighting against their American arch-enemy and its puppet-state of South Korea, and much of the museum presents the victories of North Korea and its military over its enemies, which are shown to be utterly defeated and broken by the might of the DPRK. Such can be seen from how a display in the museum shows a large cache of captured US infantry-based weapons and combat-helmets stacked up, presenting the idea of the severe casualties sustained by the US military in the Korean War.
Exhibits in the museum include a 360-degree full-scale diorama of the Battle of Taejon during the Korean War, along with displays of North Korean military hardware used in that conflict, such as Soviet T-34/85 tanks, anti-aircraft artillery, naval craft as well as warplanes. Also on display are several captured American (and some British) military equipment, such as ex-US M26 Pershing, M4 Sherman and M24 Chaffee tanks, a former British Army Universal Carrier armoured personnel carrier (APC), along with some artillery guns and downed aircraft of the US-led UN forces fighting against North Korea. In addition to the many statues, figures, murals and artefacts in the museum, one major exhibit is USS Pueblo, a US Navy vessel that was captured by North Korea when it allegedly entered North Korean territorial waters in January 1968. Local and foreign visitors to the museum are allowed to board the ship, now permanently moored on the river beside the museum, and enter and see the ship's secret code-room (which contains classified military intelligence and information onboard) and former ship and crew artefacts now put on display, such as a US flag.[unreliable source]
Alledged sinking of the USS BaltimoreEdit
The museum has several exhibits that claim that the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser, USS Baltimore, was sunk by Motor Torpedo Boats belonging to the Korean People's Navy on 2 July 1950. Exhibits include a poster and the “actual” boat which supposedly sank the American cruiser. However, the cruiser, at the time of its supposed loss, was still in the U.S. Navy's decommissioned reserve; and had been since 1946. In 1951, it was recommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1955 the Baltimore was transferred to the Pacific Fleet two years after the Korean War.
The actual battle actually involved USS Juneau as well as the Royal Navy’s sloop HMS Black Swan and cruiser HMS Jamaica. Together they destroyed several North Korean torpedo boats without loss or damage.
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea – Museums (Archived April 3, 2013, at WebCite)
- "War Museum in Pyongyang". Korean Central News Agency. 27 July 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Donenfeld, Jeffrey. "Full report: VIsit to North Korea and the Pyongyang marathon". jeffreydonenfeld.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- Salmon, Andrew (2012). Scorched Earth, Black Snow. Aurum. p. 41.