North Korea is a complete mystery to many of us.
We know very little about the country and the people in it. The only bits we know are the things we’re told from the government, or people who’ve traveled to Korea and managed to smuggle out some photographs.
As you’d expect, the photos they take are shocking, and they soon spread around the internet.
There are a lot of strict rules in North Korea. Particularly around censorship.
More often than not, photography is not even allowed.
All of North Korea is a mystery, which we only get glimpses of through smuggled photos and information.
Outsiders aren’t even allowed into the country unless they pay a hefty price.
North Korea is extremely isolated, and secretive.
Eric Lafforgue is a photographer, who has visited North Korea six times, and all the photos he has taken of this mysterious place are compelling but very illegal (in North Korea).
He risked everything when he smuggled his memory cards with countless pictures of this mysterious country.
Eric’s now banned from returning.
But because of the photos he took, people around the world are able to get a glimpse of what life in North Korea is really like.
Smuggling out photos is a risky business, as you could get arrested, and if there’s one thing you don’t want to happen in North Korea, that’s it.
Here are just a few of the photographs Eric took while in North Korea.
1. Push The Bus
Power and working transportation is limited in North Korea. Most of the time, public buses break down and the passengers have to push them themselves.
2. Power Cut
This photo shows a power cut in an art shop. Power cuts are very common in North Korea.
3. Illegal Photo Opportunity
Taking photos of the North Korean army is illegal.
4. Delete This Photo
Eric was told to delete this photo by North Korea officials.
5. Grass As A Meal
North Korea doesn’t want people to know that the poorest people in its country are forced to eat grass to survive.
6. Free Country
Officials encourage photos of people on computers to be taken. They like to show people that they’re country is ‘free’, even if the computers not on.
Taking a photo of a statue is considered rude in North Korea.
8. Public Transport
Public transport in North Korea is a huge problem for many people.
9. Healthy And Happy
North Korea tries to protect its image of a healthy and happy country by controlling photos.
10. Rich Shopping
Only the rich can shop in this supermarket.
11. Basic Equipment
Safety equipment is practically none existent in North Korea.
12. A Family Fun Day
This photo says a lot…
13. Homeless Children
North Korea claims that homeless children don’t exist.