Photo of the Day (12/13/07)

This is probably the worst quality photograph chosen for Photo of the Day, but the subject matter is one of the most interesting in my opinion. That’s because the featured automobile is a steam engine pickup truck in North Korea. That’s right folks, this car actually runs on steam generated by a wood burning stove bolted into the back of the truck. A crew of 1-2 engineers feed wood into the stove while another sits in the front and drives.

When I first saw this coming towards our minivan, I thought the car was on fire because of all the black smoke pouring out of the back like an old locomotive. Apparently these trucks – I saw at least two of them – are left over from the Korean War and are still quite common in the northern part of the country where desperate North Koreans haven’t yet stripped the forest bare in search of cooking and heating fuel–as they’ve done further south in the country.

Apologies for the poor shot, but since we were prohibited from taking photographs outside of the capital, I had to quickly sneak this one from a moving minivan when our guide wasn’t looking.

For more insight regarding this bizarre country, be sure to check out today’s Infiltrating North Korea report about the Cult of Kim. Or click here to read the series from the beginning.