Decorative Screen A gift to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the Secretary General of the Labour Party of Korea, president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, 1984 Varnished wood screen, inlaid with nacre. In 1984 Korean leader Kim Il Sung paid an official visit to the Soviet Union. The president of North Korea travelled through the whole country from Siberia to the Yaroslavl railway station in Moscow on his special train. He wanted to witness the changes which happened in the Soviet Union over the 20 years he had not been there. Comrade Kim Il Sung brought with him numerous including some that were extremely valuable. Kim Il Sung's portrait Author: unknown Photograph This canvas exhibits the scenery of the holy Korean mountain of Myohyangsan, or “the mount of mysterious aroma,” known for its fragrant forests. In the middle of this composition is the façade of one of the main North Korean museums, “The Exhibition of International Friendship” located in a scenic gorge of mount Myohyangsan. This museum is considered a national treasure of North Korea, a must-see for any foreign delegation. This huge museum (23 000 m2) houses houses a collection of gifts to Kim Il Sung whose origins date back to 1945 International Friendship Exhibition, North Korea Collection custodian: “Such screens are integral pieces of imperial interiors in South Asia. At first sight they seem to be just decorative tools to divide space. However, even being richly decorated with precious stones, such screens have not lost their sacral significance: since ancient times these screens were placed in front of the entrance to a residence, to keep evil spirits away.” reference The last visit of comrade Kim Il Sung, to the Soviet Union, took place in the beginning of the era of “great changes,” in 1986. That time he flew into оMoscow on a plane specially sent for him from the Soviet Union and personally met the then leader of the country, Mikhail Gorbachev. The North Korean leader did not like the ongoing reforms in the Soviet Union – “glasnost, perestroika, acceleration.” “Recently some of the socialist countries have been swinging from the right to the left, lacking a clear vision of how they should proceed in building socialism. We should not take these revisionist policies as an example. One should follow their own way from start to finish,” Kim Il Sung concluded. And North Korea is still sticking to this piece of advice, quite tough in practical terms.