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I Took And Smuggled These Out Of North Korea – Illegal Photos Kim Doesn’t Want You To See
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Photography, Travel6 years ago

I Took And Smuggled These Out Of North Korea – Illegal Photos Kim Doesn’t Want You To See

I visited North Korea and took these photos, most of them illegal, so you could get a more candid look into the most mysterious country on the planet.

I was told I would be detained in case photos like these were found (“You took many photos. Too many,” – said my guide), but I managed to smuggle them out of the country, which was very stressful.

Authority – military is present everywhere in Pyongyang

The difference between North Korea (left) and China (right) is staggering

And it becomes even more apparent at night

You have several of these to fill in on your way in

First photo I took in North Korea. Photography from this train is illegal

People waiting to sell human waste to be used as fertiliser

“(The Korean Workers’) Party is never going to forget the comrades of Rakwon [city]”

North Koreans can only travel within the country when they receive a permit

North Korean soldiers

Dignity

Arrival in Pyongyang. I believe this was staged, as there were no other trains that day, so those elegant looking travellers had no reason to be there

Pyongyang – we were intercepted by our guides, who we could not leave during the entire stay, and who’d tell us when to sleep and when to wake up

North Korean street photography

Brutalist architecture of Pyongyang

Cityscape from the Yanggakdo hotel

The hotel officially has no floor 5, and you can only reach it by stairs

The door is almost always closed, but if you manage to get in, the place is full of propaganda posters, and people speculate it’s used for spying on the guests.

We did not get to interact with the locals almost at all. Most waitresses seemed slightly terrified of us

Kim Il-Sung’s square. This is one of the places they want you to photograph

Those allowed to live in Pyongyang are privileged, and wear a badge that is impossible to buy (you can get a fake one in China)

You are only allowed to photograph these statues if both bodies are featured in their entirety. There was an endless stream of North Koreans bringing flowers and bowing

I had 15 seconds to take this picture. This shop is for the locals only, and I was kicked out of it by my guide soon after taking this photo, but he didn’t see me taking it

Some of the souvenirs you can buy

The city is clear of rubbish

There was hardly any traffic, but they took our passports away and forbid us to go anywhere on our own in case we participate in a car accident…

Workers

The city was clean and elegant, but then I saw this

Socialist murals

Finally, people commuting to work

Thanks for watching, two more sets of photos are coming soon!

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MiklósNagy
Community Member
6 years ago

And now a poor guide sent into a prison camp along with his whole family for letting his turist taking illegal pictures.

HaroldSmith-Franzen
Community Member
6 years ago

agree. terribly selfish

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RobertoGolović
Community Member
6 years ago

His comments try to bring drama to every shot, yet there is none. For example: the "staggering" difference between a small town in NK and a larger one i China. It is normal to have small buildings too, you know. Obviously they have skyscrapers as well, just in different cities as can be seen from other photos.

MindiJohnson
Community Member
6 years ago

I have to agree with this comment to some degree. Especially in the shot that he referenced. However, the image of the street with only 2 cars was a bit creepy. The shop for locals was kinda odd, too.

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MirceaT
Community Member
6 years ago

This remind me of Romania, 26 years ago. The same gray buildings, empty streets and stores with no food to be sold. North Korea was the inspiration for Nicolae Ceausescu and the result was disastrous, a surface bigger than the Venice was destroyed to allow construction of blocks for workers and the ugliest structure ever built: The House of People (the actual Parliament Palace), the home of the Communist Party.

DeyanaKamburova
Community Member
6 years ago

Could as well have been Bulgaria, though our regime was not quite as rigid as yours from what I know...

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DanijelaPlavsic
Community Member
6 years ago

Far from me liking anything North Korea related, but the author/photographer clearly went out of his way (through his comments) to portray everything very dark and gloomy. Pretty much every other former and current communist country has architecture like that. I don't see anything shocking in it.

Community Member
6 years ago

Hi, thanks for your comment. It's not meant to be shocking, it's meant to show it as it is, so you can see what I saw. I am not pretending it's unbiased or complete.

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Yolanda
Community Member
6 years ago

I have been in North Korea just myself last year. I think you did some great shots, but feel it is kind of very poorly how you describe and just feed the random stereotypes about North Korea. How about trying to say something new and let people go on an exploration with you, instead of trying to load a bad meaning to your pictures to make it brisant. Next time you go there, you could rather spend the money and take a tour which isn´t that strickt. I have been living in a hotel in the middle of the city and we where able to go out jogging along the River without the guides. In China floor 4 is missing, so what you wanna say? I have been taking pictures for 3 hours out of the train, which is totally possible, nothing special about it. We drunk some beer with a waitress in the night.... I dont say people have no problems, that there are no issues, but I am kind of sick of people who write about human fertilising when they take a pictures of men sitting in front of a train.

Community Member
6 years ago

Which tour did you do?

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PanosVI
Community Member
6 years ago

The same ideology and rules that applies for North Korea, you can see it in China as well. But there we like them because they create our smartphones, laptops, clothes, 60" TVs, shoes and everything so cheap(for us, not for the poor workers) that we forget that they have "communism"- which is actually dictatorship with the proud sponsorship of western multinational companies. This can be an idea for a future post.

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

If you only knew how much N. Korea was involved in the world cinematic industry during Kim Jong-il... But is secrecy, due to trade sanctions and stuff... I found about these things once while researching for an essay on Korean animation.

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WayneBeesley
Community Member
6 years ago

I hate the litter and graffiti that plagues the western world I kind of like the empty cleanliness of it my city Liverpool is like a rubbish dump with few clean streets

Community Member
6 years ago

I'm with you on that one.

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tcrown
Community Member
6 years ago

"smuggled" out, let me guess you jammed your cf cards up your ass to avoid detection?

MandyRaasch
Community Member
6 years ago

I have been to North Korea and I found it way less "dramatic" and "forbidden" and "illegal" taking pictures there than the author describes here. The rules are clear: no pictures of military or construction works. Some of my pictures: http://movingroovin.de/nordkorea-bildern/ I think it's very selfish to publish illegal pictures. North Korea officials are not stupid, and they know the internet. So let's just hope there will be no horrible consequences for the guide. :-/ http://movingroovin.de/nordkorea-bildern/

PeonyBrownie
Community Member
6 years ago

Your gallery is awesome! It shows another side of NK, less "grey". I think many people thinks that sobriety is the same as poberty, and isn't true.

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Eddie77
Community Member
6 years ago

Thank you for showing this sad reality

SusannaVesna
Community Member
6 years ago

This person watched "the Interview" and decided to add oil to the fire. First of all- good on NK, there is CLEARLY LESS POLLUTION than in China. Second- they are living in a Socialist regime, so obviously they will have Socialist imagery everywhere. Whose portraits should they hang around their country- Barafuck Obama?! Thirdly- if you keep putting a grey/blue filter on photos of say Miami, they will surely look grim and sad too! Leave these people alone! When they are ready to move on, they will rebel and change on their own! Stop trying to force your opinion and "democracy saviour" bullshit onto others!!

TeaBerries
Community Member
6 years ago

The girl with the skrillex haircut and ink says democracy is bullshit. Interesting....

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PattyStepro
Community Member
6 years ago

There were no birds or animals of any kind in any of these photos but one, the one with the bus and showing a wagon on the field. Sad, no pigeons, no squirrels not even rats can survive there.

Community Member
6 years ago

Well spotted, I didn't notice, thanks!

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SimonaMariaPruteanu
Community Member
6 years ago

It looks like in Romania before 1989!!!!

DaimonSM
Community Member
6 years ago

it looks like 70-80th in USSR...but more worse!!!

NatalyaBelenko
Community Member
6 years ago

it looks incredibly like in USSR in 70-80s, perhaps earlier, too

MarinaS.
Community Member
6 years ago

Yeah, exactly, it's very eerie... the buildings, the clothes people are wearing, even the design of the city fences. But there is a plausible explanation - Stalin himself appointed the dictator Kim Il Sung to power to rule over communist NK, and a lot of imports came from the Soviet Union.. Even the supermarket looks like Soviet era market.

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RachaelKelly
Community Member
6 years ago

Socialist posters? Wouldn't they be communist? Or are they trying to say they are socialist to its people?

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

Consider the official name fot N. Korea sais it's DEMOCRATIC! ^_-

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Islandgirl
Community Member
6 years ago

After just reading 'In Order to Live' by Yeonmi Park, these images really brought me back to the pages of Yeonmi's book (incredible book, I would definitely recommend reading it!) and it shows the stark and harsh reality of life in North Korea. To me these photos are an accurate representation matched with Yeonmi's journey.

MichelKlijmij
Community Member
6 years ago

Ok, unless this is from years ago most pictures aren't actually illegal and would present no problem for North-Korean authorities or guides. The pictures involving soldiers or the only partly photographed statue are not allowed so they are the only ones that have to be smuggled out and kept away from the guides' attention. Taking pictures from the train of from the bus is generally no problem. Generally, I don't think they're bothered with staging scenes for tourists. They simply won't take you to sensitive areas. By the way, the guides don't tell you when to sleep or wake up. Just like any guided tour they tell you when they will pick you up in the morning (of course, you're required to have woken up ;) ) and they leave you at start of diner. Unlike any normal guided tour they won't leave you alone in between those moments. Well, plenty to hide from you of course. Even though you only get to see the window dressing, it's a fascinating country to visit.

Community Member
6 years ago

Thanks for your comment. As we were travelling by minivan, our guide said to us "photography is not allowed from now on, so you will go to sleep". It was 1 hour after breakfast. ;)

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AlexinaPaiement
Community Member
6 years ago

People peeing on the streets is extremely common in South Korea, too. You would, if public bathrooms were almost non-existent!

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

Excuse me? I live in Seoul, and I can tell you there's a public toilette almost anywhere there is a public building. Like, there's one on each floor, not to talk about shopping malls. And the area doesn't even need to be very populated! There were plenty of public toilettes the seaside of Gangneung too. Which city have you been in and at which timeline? Because my experience anf yours are highly mismatching and you got me rather curious. Still, yes, you can catch an "ajoshi" peeing on the street every now and then, but it's not such a common sight as you say.

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TeaBerries
Community Member
6 years ago

To the Photographer: I just returned from Iran and published about 50 photos of the inside of that nation, and NONE of them had people, license plates, addresses, etc. of people that could get anyone in trouble. I think you should have known better.

FelixAbt
Community Member
6 years ago

These are photos every tourist can take in North Korea and many visitors have indeed taken much more "daring" pictures without this photographers 'marketing' hype of 'smuggling' them out of the country. I myself (pictured here together with my wife sitting on the floor: we were spontaneously invited by ordinary North Koreans to eat and drink with them, and as expats living there we were not accompanied by minders) published some of my pictures taken without restrictions in North Korea during my stay there here: http://northkoreacapitalist.tumblr.com/ Friendly-N...oreans.jpg Friendly-North-Koreans.jpg

JulienBrisseau
Community Member
6 years ago

I was in North Korea last year, and looking at this reportage, i feel a bit uncomfortable, for what the author mostly tries to stress the negative / dangerousness of his trip, which doesn't reflect my impressions. I personnaly had very nice and attentive guides, who were eager to show the the most of their city, and share about their life experience. People in the street, even though not used to foreigners, were also nice and welcoming. Last about pictures: taking them where you re not supported to really is not smart. You put someone that helped you all along in a delicate positiont.Not smart, especially since contrary to what we read here, you are allowed to take pictures pretty much all the time Personnaly, i really liked it, and regret a bit that kind of "alarming" photo shoots

DavidWills
Community Member
6 years ago

The floor five conspiracy isn't really anything... it's just a hotel admin floor. The rumour was started as a joke by a tour guide a few years ago. These photos are pretty good but I feel the title is clickbaity and the captions are a bit misleading in that they make the experience seem more daring and subversive than it was. I went there last year and took a different style of photo. I think there are too many "i smuggled these dangerous photos out of a secretive country" style blog posts around. They fail to acknowledge the country's humanity. http://davidswills.com/2016/03/15/photos-from-inside-north-korea-pt-1/

DavidWills
Community Member
6 years ago

As for the difference between NK and China - another way to frame it is when I came from NK into China we were hit by the pollution and overcrowding and rampant commercialism. Not that NK is a "better" country but it's not as black and white as it seems.

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Patrick
Community Member
6 years ago

The people look and act like robots. Their faces are completely blank. I couldn't find a single photo showing anything even approaching a smile. This is truly a totalitarian country.

MikhailSterlikov
Community Member
6 years ago

Excellent shots. Thank you very much for sharing real face of North Korea. Just wowed.

AlexinaPaiement
Community Member
6 years ago

For anyone who doubts the veracity of what the OP says, I'd suggest watching Vice's documentary on North Korea: http://www.vice.com/video/vice-guide-to-north-korea-1-of-3 As for me, I lived for two years in South Korea and visited the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between South and North Korea and I kid you not, you're not even allowed to look at North Korean soldiers for a few seconds out of curiosity or they'd take it as an open declaration of war.

PanosVI
Community Member
6 years ago

Open declaration of war for staring at them? Cool out kid! Bahahaha!

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JoshuaOrr
Community Member
6 years ago

I know this question seems so insignificant amongst the harrowing images you've shown. But I was wondering what Camera and lens you used.

Community Member
6 years ago

It's not really significant in any context, as camera doesn't really matter. Nevertheless, it's a Nikon D300s with a 24-70 mm, which is not an appropriate combo, actually.

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JudieHathaway
Community Member
6 years ago

I am so greatful to see these photographs. Sometimes, it seems the US is falling into a pit of some kind of dictatorship, then I see these and wonder if we are not being warned. At the least we are still able to have a fair information highway. Keep it up. Thank you!

SteefJordans
Community Member
6 years ago

That's awesome!! Great shots!

GraceWilson
Community Member
6 years ago

The pic is beautiful

Santi Iñiguez
Community Member
2 years ago

What a fucking liar. Nice cherry picked photos along with dramatic titles.

Santi Iñiguez
Community Member
2 years ago

What a fucking liar.

Paul Hopwoood
Community Member
4 years ago

Anyone who embellishes a story is a liar. Consequently this reporter is also a liar. Lots of nothingness !!! Come to Africa - many times worst than any of these photos. What a fake !!!!

ikat
Community Member
4 years ago

I rather enjoyed the visual trip. Thank you for sharing. I'm not into bashing, the main reason being . . . . my mother remembers Korea as ONE country, lived through WWII, and the Korean War to seek freedom from her own country so she didn't have to live as second class citizen. I don't understand criticism of your visual trip for curious viewers like me. Perhaps if one grew up with such awareness there wouldn't be so many opinions, but rather appreciation. I touched on North Korea briefly in my own style at www.GStreetJewels.com

Todd Holladay
Community Member
4 years ago

The question I have is, Why in all photo's we see very large apartment buildings that look to house thousands per building, Yet it looks like a ghost town? Besides the events for the tourist. Where are all the everyday normal citizens? These photo's you posted have this eerie feel about them as a city devoid of people? Something just isn't right here.

Chukwura Okoli
Community Member
4 years ago

I have viewed your pics of NK and I am inviting you to come and tour Nigeria for comparison.

Chukwura Okoli
Community Member
4 years ago

Please come tour Nigeria and make comparison From your pics NK is just an orderly society.

Johanna-Nicollette Kidd
Community Member
5 years ago

How terribly depressing, the fact that no pictures are allowed, the fact that the people dont look happy, the fact that the buildings look grey&forboding, the fact that your guide (who is only a guide after all) takes away your property(passports)then lies about not being able to go anywhere without him(thats incase you speak to anyone who does not wish to live like that), the fact that you took the pictures anyway (what of your 'Guide Will he be punished for failing to uphold the tourist laws)...Not one animal in sight, not one smiling face...How sad!

s smith
Community Member
5 years ago

they look like orderillers

Memphis Mike
Community Member
5 years ago

I can EASILY find living conditions in the USA that are FAR worse than anything seen here

Memphis Mike
Community Member
5 years ago

Do you really want to see the horribleness of AMERICAN life for some folks? #sippinmytea homeless-5...0a0153.jpg homeless-58d7b930a0153.jpg

Vincent Williams
Community Member
5 years ago

I think the photographer should have blurred out the faces. Because everyone of those people in those photographs are witnesses to you and who your guide is.And if North Korea has mass surveillance then they can find out exactly when those people were there at the time those photos were taken in order to find out which tour guide was on duty. Nice photos but your carelessness probably caused some poor guy and his family to be sent to a slave labor camp or worse.

Huanimalism
Community Member
5 years ago

Kim Jong wants you to see these photos, because he doesn't give a shit. Just like any other president in any "exposed" country in the world. No one gives two shits.

Melinda Fernandez
Community Member
5 years ago

I just read a book about North Korea, it is about a family who managed to survive generations and have escaped to south korea. If you want to know what North Korea is like, listen to the people who lived there for generations. This book made me so sad that at one point I had to put it down and cry. But it also was incredibly informative of a world where very few people are able to escape. It is incredibly eye-opening and also inspiring. The one thing about this family is they had faith, which in North Korea, if there is any talk discovered by the government that you have any kind of faith in any religion besides worshiping their leaders, they are sent to prison, and usually sentenced to death for. This family survived because of their faith, from world war II all the way to the present. I highly recommend reading this, it will change your life and the way you see the world! https://www.amazon.com/These-are-Generations-Eric-Foley/dp/0615678351

Andres Warrio
Community Member
5 years ago

I did not see anything wrong in the pictures. North Korea is a nice place to go just the Americans wants to sell us a different view of this great population

Lyone Fein
Community Member
5 years ago

These photos seem very typical of every Asian country. North Korea, and her citizens, look very normal and not starving (!), so that is good.

MarinaS.
Community Member
6 years ago

The cityscape, murals, the clothes people are wearing, the buildings, the way the fences are designed... all remind me of Russia, where I was born. Of course by that I mean, the Russia that was the Soviet Union... it's eerie. But there is a plausible explanation - it was Stalin himself who appointed the dictator Kim Il Sung to power, and so the communist regime began in NK...

TeaBerries
Community Member
6 years ago

To the photographer: I came back from Iran and posted about 50 photos of all parts, but NONE of them had people. You should know better than to publish faces, addresses, license plates etc. of people doing things things that may be considered "undesirable".

JoaquínKarnasuta
Community Member
6 years ago

Saw you on cnn few days back. Really awesome

AliciaRius
Community Member
6 years ago

Beautiful photos.

RavenMoonshadowDrakus
Community Member
6 years ago

I am NEVER traveling to Korea.

konratat
Community Member
6 years ago

Today offer only. 10 games only for 3$. http://bit.ly/1RiIe8z Don't wait.

RyanHarris
Community Member
6 years ago

I just won a free iphone 6s it's pretty cool actually, just another phone for me to use, I will probably give it to my brothers son, but i can vouch this site is legit so if you want a free iphone 6s check it out: http://bit.ly/1QruZ30 - Get It Now

DavidWills
Community Member
6 years ago

The Floor 5 thing is a myth... It's just a staff-only part of the hotel and the spying rumour was started by guides as a joke long ago. These photos are pretty good (some of them, anyway) but the comments make them sound more exciting and daring, and yet are often misleading about the realities of life in North Korea. The title, too, smacks of clickbait. http://davidswills.com/2016/03/15/photos-from-inside-north-korea-pt-1/

AnnaBrandigi
Community Member
6 years ago

the book is right. Kim Jong Suk(s)

petersondavidre
Community Member
6 years ago

Sell human waste? ...looks more like 2 employees making it.

NickWall
Community Member
6 years ago

Fascinating to see. But it was known that when photos like these are found the tour guides are strongly punished

RichardPetch
Community Member
6 years ago

Don't they know how to smile, mind you living in that country I would not think there is much to smile about.

ScoutStevenson
Community Member
6 years ago

Beautiful

維李
Community Member
6 years ago

覺得新奇 謝謝分享

MichelleB
Community Member
6 years ago

What do I think? I think all citizens with the exception of that assclown aka Kim Jong-un should exit at the count of 5. At the count of 6, the most dangerous white supremacists doing life ought to released into North Korea. Let the games begin.

ChengleiZhou
Community Member
6 years ago

All I can say is thanks for sharing these.

RogerNehring
Community Member
6 years ago

I have no clue why anyone would A. visit N Korea B. risk winding up in a N Korean prison for taking some rather mundane tourist snaps C. put others at risk in order to do this.

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

At least I can reply to question A. N. Korea is a place full of secrets, both literally and figuratively. And yet we do know quite a lot about it, but still not enough, since nothing is sure and every information is carefully filtered. Doesn't it nudge your curiosity? Besides that, it's like a place frozen in time, so it must be a surrealistic experience to visit there. Whether the two Koreas unify or not, if the liberation happens while I'm still alive, I'd be amongst the first generation of massive touristic visits. Of course, that's not the reason why I wish for liberation of N. Korea to happen, though. I think my reasons are obvious and that most of us share the same opinions about that.

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RebeccahLockwood
Community Member
6 years ago

Awsome hope you can provide more without getting into trouble

Patrick
Community Member
6 years ago

The people look and act like robots. Their faces are completely blank. I couldn't find a single photo showing anything even approaching a smile. This is truly a totalitarian country.

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

I can see the same automatons' expressions in photos of a busy free American metropolis too....

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AmandaPanda
Community Member
6 years ago

You probably just got the guy pissing on the wall, killed

NatalyaBelenko
Community Member
6 years ago

wow. it looks incredibly like USSR in 70-80s, perhaps, earlier, too

wangshuang
Community Member
6 years ago

I just wan to say It show me a different world.

Rism
Community Member
6 years ago

Wow... Back when there is only simple life, no gadget no internet no cars no traffic, wow just wow

Silvia
Community Member
6 years ago

Well, even though I really don't support regimes that severely limit personal liberties, and that can prosecute you for trivial reasons, I think this is far from the worst place on earth right now. What do we really see? Clean streets, little air pollution, fresh vegetables, well dressed people transporting themselves by foot, bike, organized public transport or cars (including new Toyota's). OK, we also see a police state and glorification of its leader, but still I don't think the dramatic heading of this article is justified.

Wojciech“yeld”Bugno
Community Member
6 years ago

Reminds me of my country, Poland, in the 70's - 80's.

WitOlszewski
Community Member
6 years ago

im preety sure, they will kill thay pissing guy when korean gov see that pic :(

Yolanda
Community Member
6 years ago

k

AkilajiangAkila
Community Member
6 years ago

There are privileged people everywhere and privileged people do pee. NK people are pretty fine by themselves.

CristianChinaski
Community Member
6 years ago

wow, he saw a guy peeing on the street, this guy shouldn't go out at night often... Anyway, you will see that in every street of asia

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

Not very uncommon in Europe either...

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RaviDeka
Community Member
6 years ago

There is more propaganda in his narrations than evdident in the pics.

KristianYang
Community Member
6 years ago

I agree

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NammyKirat
Community Member
6 years ago

I see "green" everywhere in North Korea.

WayneBeesley
Community Member
6 years ago

Attack on Titan ? Your nonsense makes no sense ?

karenza
Community Member
6 years ago

what country do you live in?

Community Member
6 years ago

Me? The UK at the moment.

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MatthiasJugel
Community Member
6 years ago

I don't really know what is so illegal with the photos. Its the usual photos you find. If you want to see something truly illega, take a look at this map. It has the photos and geolocations. It is illegal to take a GPS device into North Korea btw. After that trip, I donates about 100km new streets to OpenStreetMap. https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zey5aLXnFh5M.kzkdyhludApw&usp=sharing

SamuelTyrell
Community Member
6 years ago

Hey I'm very courious about what you did. Where can I get more infos? Your website thinkberg.com seems to have the URL broken so I can't access your posts

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mark
Community Member
6 years ago

Sensational bullshit...you "smuggled"? C'mon, he does not want you to see my arse. Taken from the train or bus along well planned routes of your trip with YPT or Koryo tours. Please don't make hero out of yourself

CassidyHoward
Community Member
6 years ago

Humans (I generally talk as though I am not one, yes) are so stupid, they don't seem to realise they are slowly but surely destroying themselves! It's disgusting because we always have to blame others for our mistakes! Urgh! Humanity is definitely doomed

MichaelDally
Community Member
6 years ago

Thanks for deleting my previous comment. I'll say it again, Idiot pays money to a messed up regime to do a tour in the DPRK, takes naff pictures and potentially gets the guide in trouble while bringing nothing new to the table. Also, how foes he know the two people sitting there are selling human waste? And how exactly did he 'smuggle' the photos out?? He just left with the pictures. Over dramatising the bland at best.

pantanini
Community Member
6 years ago

Why are you doing this? Why did you visit North Korea? Where is the respect for this people? Do you feel good now? They could get big problems because you show this photos in the net. I think this is not cool, it is just stupid.

ryu
Community Member
6 years ago

The author might have felt very proud of himself being able to outwit North Koreans. But then again, is it really difficult to follow other country's laws? Please. Don't feel proud of things that would actually downgrade your worth as a human being. Yes, I can see that he wants us to see what they are hiding in NK, yet, he operates just like those journalists who would do anything for stories.

Community Member
6 years ago

I think the attitude of automatically following orders, rules, and regulations is precisely what allows North Korea to exist.

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Shanvan
Community Member
6 years ago

I sure hope that's not your real name! They will track your guides and figure out who made the "mistakes" along the way. Then who knows what

carolmckay
Community Member
6 years ago

What an arsehole, you have probably gotten some of these people killed for urinating when they need to or being your guide, but for you it is worth it?

AnnaSalerno
Community Member
6 years ago

This country is stark and not a happy place. Few flowers but mostly gray! :(

BoyanChobanov
Community Member
6 years ago

Great story. I'ts just so sad that your "guide"is probably going to be executed...

mark
Community Member
6 years ago

Sensational bullshit...You "smuggled" ..."he does not want you too see"...c'mon. All your photos taken on a tour trip with YPT or Koryo along with other tourists. Shot from a moving bus or train or park ALL area on a well planned out route by KITC while having 2 guides with you , fully aware you snapping photos, like everyone else on all other trips. You are the reason media is full of sh8t about DPRK making sensational out of boring...OMG you my hero...my panties down...NOT!

StuartBuck
Community Member
6 years ago

selfish and inflammatory. i see nothing shocking here, just someone putting their guide at great risk for 15 minutes of cyber fame. silly boy.

MichaelDally
Community Member
6 years ago

Goes to DPRK, pays a tour where the money will go to the gov. Takes pics of nothing new... 'Smuggled out', 'intercepted by our guides', 'selling human waste for fertiliser', 'military everywhere'... lot of nonsense really.

MichaelDally
Community Member
6 years ago

Idiot pays money to the North Korean Regime to go to the DPRK on a tour to take shit pictures to show us what we already know. Thanks for bringing nothing new to the table.

ChuckLarson
Community Member
6 years ago

Tourist.

FelipeRibeiro
Community Member
6 years ago

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They sell dead childrean as food in North Korea, many homeless child commit suicide, then people pick up the bodies, chop them and sell in the markets. This is a docummented fact, wake up people, Socialism is bad!

Xenthia
Community Member
6 years ago

Another idiot who doesn't know a difference between socialism and communist dictatorship. Feel the Bern!

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AttackOnTitanIsAwesome
Community Member
6 years ago

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What the hell ? If you want to be a toughbutt and say you smuggled these out please choose another website, that way, bored panda doesn't

Community Member
6 years ago

Sorry, you don't get to tell me where I publish my stuff!

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MiklósNagy
Community Member
6 years ago

And now a poor guide sent into a prison camp along with his whole family for letting his turist taking illegal pictures.

HaroldSmith-Franzen
Community Member
6 years ago

agree. terribly selfish

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RobertoGolović
Community Member
6 years ago

His comments try to bring drama to every shot, yet there is none. For example: the "staggering" difference between a small town in NK and a larger one i China. It is normal to have small buildings too, you know. Obviously they have skyscrapers as well, just in different cities as can be seen from other photos.

MindiJohnson
Community Member
6 years ago

I have to agree with this comment to some degree. Especially in the shot that he referenced. However, the image of the street with only 2 cars was a bit creepy. The shop for locals was kinda odd, too.

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MirceaT
Community Member
6 years ago

This remind me of Romania, 26 years ago. The same gray buildings, empty streets and stores with no food to be sold. North Korea was the inspiration for Nicolae Ceausescu and the result was disastrous, a surface bigger than the Venice was destroyed to allow construction of blocks for workers and the ugliest structure ever built: The House of People (the actual Parliament Palace), the home of the Communist Party.

DeyanaKamburova
Community Member
6 years ago

Could as well have been Bulgaria, though our regime was not quite as rigid as yours from what I know...

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DanijelaPlavsic
Community Member
6 years ago

Far from me liking anything North Korea related, but the author/photographer clearly went out of his way (through his comments) to portray everything very dark and gloomy. Pretty much every other former and current communist country has architecture like that. I don't see anything shocking in it.

Community Member
6 years ago

Hi, thanks for your comment. It's not meant to be shocking, it's meant to show it as it is, so you can see what I saw. I am not pretending it's unbiased or complete.

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Yolanda
Community Member
6 years ago

I have been in North Korea just myself last year. I think you did some great shots, but feel it is kind of very poorly how you describe and just feed the random stereotypes about North Korea. How about trying to say something new and let people go on an exploration with you, instead of trying to load a bad meaning to your pictures to make it brisant. Next time you go there, you could rather spend the money and take a tour which isn´t that strickt. I have been living in a hotel in the middle of the city and we where able to go out jogging along the River without the guides. In China floor 4 is missing, so what you wanna say? I have been taking pictures for 3 hours out of the train, which is totally possible, nothing special about it. We drunk some beer with a waitress in the night.... I dont say people have no problems, that there are no issues, but I am kind of sick of people who write about human fertilising when they take a pictures of men sitting in front of a train.

Community Member
6 years ago

Which tour did you do?

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PanosVI
Community Member
6 years ago

The same ideology and rules that applies for North Korea, you can see it in China as well. But there we like them because they create our smartphones, laptops, clothes, 60" TVs, shoes and everything so cheap(for us, not for the poor workers) that we forget that they have "communism"- which is actually dictatorship with the proud sponsorship of western multinational companies. This can be an idea for a future post.

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

If you only knew how much N. Korea was involved in the world cinematic industry during Kim Jong-il... But is secrecy, due to trade sanctions and stuff... I found about these things once while researching for an essay on Korean animation.

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WayneBeesley
Community Member
6 years ago

I hate the litter and graffiti that plagues the western world I kind of like the empty cleanliness of it my city Liverpool is like a rubbish dump with few clean streets

Community Member
6 years ago

I'm with you on that one.

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tcrown
Community Member
6 years ago

"smuggled" out, let me guess you jammed your cf cards up your ass to avoid detection?

MandyRaasch
Community Member
6 years ago

I have been to North Korea and I found it way less "dramatic" and "forbidden" and "illegal" taking pictures there than the author describes here. The rules are clear: no pictures of military or construction works. Some of my pictures: http://movingroovin.de/nordkorea-bildern/ I think it's very selfish to publish illegal pictures. North Korea officials are not stupid, and they know the internet. So let's just hope there will be no horrible consequences for the guide. :-/ http://movingroovin.de/nordkorea-bildern/

PeonyBrownie
Community Member
6 years ago

Your gallery is awesome! It shows another side of NK, less "grey". I think many people thinks that sobriety is the same as poberty, and isn't true.

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Eddie77
Community Member
6 years ago

Thank you for showing this sad reality

SusannaVesna
Community Member
6 years ago

This person watched "the Interview" and decided to add oil to the fire. First of all- good on NK, there is CLEARLY LESS POLLUTION than in China. Second- they are living in a Socialist regime, so obviously they will have Socialist imagery everywhere. Whose portraits should they hang around their country- Barafuck Obama?! Thirdly- if you keep putting a grey/blue filter on photos of say Miami, they will surely look grim and sad too! Leave these people alone! When they are ready to move on, they will rebel and change on their own! Stop trying to force your opinion and "democracy saviour" bullshit onto others!!

TeaBerries
Community Member
6 years ago

The girl with the skrillex haircut and ink says democracy is bullshit. Interesting....

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PattyStepro
Community Member
6 years ago

There were no birds or animals of any kind in any of these photos but one, the one with the bus and showing a wagon on the field. Sad, no pigeons, no squirrels not even rats can survive there.

Community Member
6 years ago

Well spotted, I didn't notice, thanks!

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SimonaMariaPruteanu
Community Member
6 years ago

It looks like in Romania before 1989!!!!

DaimonSM
Community Member
6 years ago

it looks like 70-80th in USSR...but more worse!!!

NatalyaBelenko
Community Member
6 years ago

it looks incredibly like in USSR in 70-80s, perhaps earlier, too

MarinaS.
Community Member
6 years ago

Yeah, exactly, it's very eerie... the buildings, the clothes people are wearing, even the design of the city fences. But there is a plausible explanation - Stalin himself appointed the dictator Kim Il Sung to power to rule over communist NK, and a lot of imports came from the Soviet Union.. Even the supermarket looks like Soviet era market.

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RachaelKelly
Community Member
6 years ago

Socialist posters? Wouldn't they be communist? Or are they trying to say they are socialist to its people?

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

Consider the official name fot N. Korea sais it's DEMOCRATIC! ^_-

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Islandgirl
Community Member
6 years ago

After just reading 'In Order to Live' by Yeonmi Park, these images really brought me back to the pages of Yeonmi's book (incredible book, I would definitely recommend reading it!) and it shows the stark and harsh reality of life in North Korea. To me these photos are an accurate representation matched with Yeonmi's journey.

MichelKlijmij
Community Member
6 years ago

Ok, unless this is from years ago most pictures aren't actually illegal and would present no problem for North-Korean authorities or guides. The pictures involving soldiers or the only partly photographed statue are not allowed so they are the only ones that have to be smuggled out and kept away from the guides' attention. Taking pictures from the train of from the bus is generally no problem. Generally, I don't think they're bothered with staging scenes for tourists. They simply won't take you to sensitive areas. By the way, the guides don't tell you when to sleep or wake up. Just like any guided tour they tell you when they will pick you up in the morning (of course, you're required to have woken up ;) ) and they leave you at start of diner. Unlike any normal guided tour they won't leave you alone in between those moments. Well, plenty to hide from you of course. Even though you only get to see the window dressing, it's a fascinating country to visit.

Community Member
6 years ago

Thanks for your comment. As we were travelling by minivan, our guide said to us "photography is not allowed from now on, so you will go to sleep". It was 1 hour after breakfast. ;)

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AlexinaPaiement
Community Member
6 years ago

People peeing on the streets is extremely common in South Korea, too. You would, if public bathrooms were almost non-existent!

DariaB
Community Member
6 years ago

Excuse me? I live in Seoul, and I can tell you there's a public toilette almost anywhere there is a public building. Like, there's one on each floor, not to talk about shopping malls. And the area doesn't even need to be very populated! There were plenty of public toilettes the seaside of Gangneung too. Which city have you been in and at which timeline? Because my experience anf yours are highly mismatching and you got me rather curious. Still, yes, you can catch an "ajoshi" peeing on the street every now and then, but it's not such a common sight as you say.

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