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Pyongyang: The jewel of North Korea

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Residents in Pyongyang, North Korea enjoy a water park, one of Kim Jong-un's pet projects in the capital city. (Source: CNN) Residents in Pyongyang, North Korea enjoy a water park, one of Kim Jong-un's pet projects in the capital city. (Source: CNN)
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PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (Korean Central TV/CNN) - From the moment the plane lands, the country gives the illusion you walked into a time warp.

The nation is decades behind the world, trying to catch up. It tries even harder to control the flow of information.

Government minders watch your every move, from the route taken to the pictures taken. They control what is seen and not seen.

The birthplace of the nation's founder, Kim Il-sung, is considered a sacred place. Every North Korean who comes to Pyongyang will make the pilgrimage at least once to the first home of their "eternal president."

Students travel 23 hours to drink from the Kim family's well.

"I want to come back again," says 12-year-old Co Hang Mion.

The nation's capital is also its showpiece. The most modern children's hospital took one year to build and has been open six months. Many patients come there for the state-of-the-art equipment, but some pretend to be sick so they can play there.

The hospital has 300 beds - not nearly adequate for a city of more than 2.5 million people. But it is one of the pet projects of the nation's young leader, Kim Jong-un. He inherited his power from his father, and his grandfather before him.

And there is a water park. Kim reportedly scrutinized the plans 113 times and had high-ranking government officials test the slides for safety.

As some play, the United Nation worries others are suffering. The World Food Programme says many North Koreans face regular food shortages, although you wouldn't know it with the money being spent on the aforementioned projects.

No expense is spared to make Pyongyang appear a happy, modern place. The rest of the country is kept hidden from the cameras and the eyes of the outside world.

Copyright 2014 CNN. Korean Central TV contributed to the report. All rights reserved.