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An Isolated Look Inside North Korea



North Korea is one of the most isolated countries on the planet, and although it’s largely due to the complex history and vast political conflict in the region, it continues to be a place of fascination for onlookers around the world. But once you see inside, you become more curious.
Not many people have been allowed within the borders of North Korea, and those who have often are bound to strict rules and regulations they wouldn’t dare disobey. However, journalists have been documenting what civilians experience, and you won’t believe it until you see for yourself.

Waiting For The Train

waiting for the train
People waiting patiently. But, the guard in the picture tells another tale of how a constant reminder of dictatorship is never more than a few steps away.

Sino Korean Friendship Bridge

sino korean friendship bridge
This is a rare shot of something bright and aesthetically pleasing. Not much of that around in North Korea. Michael Huniewicz took the shot while he had a chance.

Basic Architecture

basic architecture
There is very little for North Korean’s to enjoy. Not even when they come home. These kinds of dwellings are all over the place and are just basic places to get some sleep and get mentally prepared for another day, if that’s possible.

With Both Statues This Time

with both statues this time
Michael Huniewicz notes how risky it is to shoot photos. His freedom could have been taken at any moment. All it would have taken is if anyone would have seen him. He would have been locked up and his guide might have even been tortured for “espionage.”

Custom Declaration Form

custom declaration form
Coming into the country, photographer Michael Huniewicz had to declare his belongings. There are items that cannot be brought into the country. Some of those items include adult literature, cell phones, and cameras like the one photographer Michael Huniewicz smuggled in with him.

Commuting To Work And Not Happy

commuting to work and not happy
They look like they know photographer Michael Huniewicz is taking photos at a very high risk to his freedom. They just don’t seem to care. Probably too run down or too fed up to have any care in the world.

State Workers Walking

state workers walking
These guys work for the government. They might be engineers or at least maintenance personnel. But, they are carrying their equipment and walking from location to location. Is this another revelation of the government’s lack of funding?

Intercepted By The Guide

intercepted by the guides
Visiting North Korea is just not that great of a vacation. You get intercepted by a guide. He takes you everywhere, tells you when to eat and sleep, and is not allowed to let you out of his sight.

The Streets Of Korea

the streets of korea
Good shot of daily life in North Korea. No cars. No heavy traffic. Just a nice shot of what routine life looks like.

Soldier Supervises Cleanup

soldier supervises cleanup
They look like they’re doing a good job without supervision. But, soldiers are everywhere. They are a constant reminder of what type of dictatorship they live under.

Korea To The Left And China To The Right

korea left china right
Michael Huniewicz took a beautiful shot of the two countries facing each other. They definitely have different spirits. Just from the picture, it’s easy to see.

A Deserted Entry Point

a deserted entry point
People are leaving. Not many people are coming. Why would you? The shots Michael Huniewicz got while touring North Korea tell the sad story of a miserable world.

Government Building In Pyongyang

How Michael Huniewicz got these shots is hard to tell. What camera did he use? Was he hiding it or were people just letting him take pictures and not worrying about the laws that govern them?

Uniforms And Public Service

uniforms and public service
The sidewalk already looks spotless. But, these girls are out there in their uniforms sweeping up the streets. They’re probably just looking like they’re busy or they’ll be given something else to do.

Guards In The Watchtowers

guards in watchtowers
Everywhere everyone goes, there is government control. Guards are watching what everyone does at all times, monitoring everyone’s movements, and restricting them at will.

Locals Only Shop

locals only shop
Michael Huniewicz was kicked out of the shop because he wasn’t a local. Only locals can go shopping there. It must be about rations and they only have enough for themselves.

Beat Up Truck Hauling Soldiers

beatup truck hauling soldiers
It’s not really a military type of vehicle. Emphasis seems low on taking care of their forces. Either that or it’s an eye opening revelation of the military budget.

He’s Just Doing His Thing

hes just doing his thing
One man gets away with doing his business in a somewhat private place. Either, he’s drunk or has lost all will to care. Sometimes, a bathroom is just too far away.

A Staged Train Station Picture

a staged train station picture
Photographer Michael Huniewicz noted that this train station photo was staged. Might be a publicity stunt to have people looking like they are traveling happy about the country. But, there were no more trains due that evening. No need for anyone to be there at all.

Crops By A Rundown Tower Block

crops by a rundown tower block
It’s like an abandoned community. But, the girls play by the crops that are growing very healthily. It’s an odd shot photographer Michael Huniewicz made a point to make.

On The Statues

on the statues
There is a rule about taking photos of the statues, which are that both statues have to be in the shot. There are other customs that must be observed as well. But, Michael Huniewicz didn’t follow too many rules while he was there.

The Capital Pyongyang

the capital city
While the rest of the country is either farmland or decapitated buildings, Pyongyang looks well kept. It must be highly maintained to impress the world while the rest of the country suffers in poverty.

It’s Not Common For People To Have Cars

its not common for people to have cars
In a struggling economy, people walk if they can’t afford a bike. There aren’t a whole bunch of cars running around all over the streets. It’s quite ironic since there are actual streets all over the place.

Waiting To Sell Human Waste

waiting to sell human waste
Human waste gets turned into fertilizer. It’s great for farming. So, this is one way people can lower themselves to get paid and be able to afford stuff like food to make more waste.

Get Around With Taxi

get around with taxi
Taxis are for locals. Tourists aren’t allowed to use them. In fact, tourists are given a guide who takes them everywhere and keeps a watchful eye over them the entire time they are there.

24/7 Propaganda On The TV

247 propaganda on the tv
This waitress has to listen to the propaganda all day long while she works. The customers don’t get to escape from it either. Photographer Michael Huniewicz put his freedom on the line to get these photos from inside the North Korean world.

Soldiers In Conversation

soldiers in conversation
This is a risky photo. Not sure how far Michael Huniewicz was standing away from them when he took the photo, but that could have cost him his freedom. That is if the soldiers had cared to look over at him.

Vast Farmland

vast farmland
The farmland is definitely vast. The people rely on it. They don’t get much imported from all over the world. They need the crops to survive.

They Need A Permit To Travel Around The Country

they need a permit to travel around the country
Locals can’t simply hop a bus and take off for a day in another town or across the country. They have to get a permit to travel. Just another way the government keeps track of its common folk.

Riding The Bus

riding the bus
Public transportation is a good way to get around. Beats walking or biking if you need to go far. But, locals have to have a permit to travel about the country.

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