North Korea's museum to the Korean War.
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum - North Korean War Museum
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (조국해방전쟁승리기념관 | 祖國解放戰爭勝利博物館) is North Korea's Korean War museum located in Pyongyang, North Korea. The museum presents the North Korean point of view of the armed anti-colonial struggle against the Japanese and against the United States and allies during the Korean War. It is the current location of the captured USS Pueblo.
It is open to tourists and locals to visit and take a tour around. You will be taken around by an officer dressed in military uniform to various areas both in and outside the Korean War museum.
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum was first set up in August 1953 in the Central District of Pyongyang. During this time, it was called the Fatherland Liberation War Museum.
In April 1963 the museum was relocated to the district where it now resides in Pyongyang.
In 2013 on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, the new Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum was opened next door to the existing museum which it replaced, and which also incorporates the panoramic display of the old war museum.
In 2018, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum the top floor panoramic display received an upgrade to include more English language and better effects. The panoramic display and motion picture at the end of a tour to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is usually a highlight for many. It is a 360 degree display that presents the battle of Daejon.
North Korean War Museum Inside
As you walk through the grand doors of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, you will be greeted with a large, life-like statue of President Kim Il Sung.
A local guide of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum will then proceed to take you around the various rooms and exhibitions inside the Korean War museum. The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is an incredibly large building. You will usually have around two hours here, but you could spend the whole day and still not manage to see all of the exhibitions and rooms. The local guide will take you around the most interesting and impressive areas of the war museum. The local guide will also give you in-depth explanations to each of the areas of the war museum and be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Many of the themes concentrate on the Korean struggle during the war against the Japanese and Americans, and some exhibitions show captured artefacts and weapons from the war. There are whole rooms dedicated to different phases of the Korean War, prominent battles, and each branch of the North Korean armed forces during these struggles.
It is important to note that it is not permitted to take photographs inside the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.
North Korean War Museum Outside
The outside of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is very impressive in itself. There are large gates at the entrance which lead into the war museum area. The war museum area in front of the main building entrance is vast and contains statues and monuments in remembrance to the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. The area is known as the 'War Victory Monument'.
To the left-hand side is the 'Exhibition of Hero Equipment'. which displays famous equipment used by heroes of the Korean People's Army.
To the right-hand-side is the 'Exhibition of Captured Equipment'. There you will also find a section that has been turned into a trench which then leads onto a display of several pieces of captured U.S. military equipment from the Korean War onward through the 1990's. This includes armoured vehicles, artillery, downed aircraft and even a seaborne drone.
Photographs outside the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum are permitted.
The USS Pueblo is the U.S. Navy ship that was attacked and seized by the North Koreans. It was sent on a spy mission to North Korea, and was captured on 23/01/1968.
The USS Pueblo and its 82 sailors were held for 11 months. The U.S. made a formal apology to North Korea, and the sailors were released. North Korea held onto the ship, however, which is now on display on the grounds to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. It remains a commissioned U.S. naval vessel and is the second oldest vessel in the US Navy, only the historic tall ship the USS Constitution launched in 1797 is older.
You can visit the USS Pueblo on a visit to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and tour the ship. The USS Pueblo sits on the Potong River. Tourists and local visitors may enter the ship and take a look around at the various rooms. Rooms you can visit include the kitchen and secret code-room. You can also look into the living and sleeping quarters of the sailors. There are many books and artifacts also on display for you to look at.
Aside from this, during a visit aboard the USS Pueblo you can also see bullet holes and marks from the conflict.
• It is not allowed to take pictures inside the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, but you may take pictures outside. You should make sure not to forget your camera.
• If you need a quick re-fresh, there is coffee and other drinks available inside the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. Make sure to bring a small amount of cash with you.
• Upon visiting the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, you will have to go through a security check. To make this security check as quick as possible, you should empty your pockets and bring in minimal items. You should leave anything behind that you don’t need, including any bags and large items. You may take cameras and phones.
• If you have been waiting to get some great shots of the Ryugyong Hotel, the infamous triangle shaped hotel that stands in Pyongyang, this is the place. The hotel has been completed on the outside, but the inside still remains incomplete. A visit to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum will provide you with a perfect up-close shot of the Ryugyong Hotel from outside the main entrance of the war museum.
Location and Access
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is in the Sosong District in Pyongyang. It is right next to the Potong River. It is easily accessible by car, bus, or taxi.
You can visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum on some of our longer trips to North Korea. Or, you can have a private tour and request it to be in your own personalised itinerary. What else can you see in North Korea? Download Koryo Tours' free 75-page guide to the country for a full list and follow the Koryo Tours Blog for in-depth descriptions.