If you’re one of the roughly 100,000 people who visit North Korea every year—and I hope for your sake, you’re not—you are already well aware of the infamous Koryo burger, the one food option available on North Korea’s only airline, Air Koryo. For the rest of us, pictures and descriptions of this extremely unappetizing sandwich will have to do.
— Kim Murphy, LA Times (@kimmurphy) April 21, 2017
Described by the Los Angeles Times “as always served cold, and always on a paper doily,” the Koryo burger is composed of a bun, “a piece of unidentified meat, a slice of processed cheese, a dash of shredded cabbage or a lonely lettuce leaf, and a dollop of sweet, brown sauce.”
No one is quite sure what the meat in the burger is. Some speculate it’s pork, others say beef. Most are too scared to find out.
Bloomberg reported in February 2016 the Koryo burger could soon be phased out. North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, has said he wants tourism in the extremely isolated nation to skyrocket to 20 million per year by 2020, infusing the nation with much-needed foreign cash. As part of those efforts, North Korea began giving a facelift to Air Koryo, which has historically been ranked the worst airline in the world.
Among the innovations, reports Bloomberg, are communal television screens that drop down from the ceiling. They “will keep you entertained with propaganda broadcasts and concerts by supreme leader Kim Jong Un's favorite all-female band, Moranbong, who sing patriotic songs about, well, Kim Jong Un. Bring noise-cancelling earphones. There’s no volume control.”
Of course, all this could soon change. North Korea seems more interested than it’s been in a half-century in starting another massive war in Asia.
President Donald Trump warned Americans on Thursday, “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump said. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.”