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40 Illegal Photos of North Korea That Kim Jong-un Doesn’t Want the World to See

There is a reason why the Supreme Leader wants to isolate the country.

A photographer by the name of Eric Lafforgue had the chance to experience what it is like to live in North Korea. Being able to visit the country six times already, he managed to capture images that were actually forbidden to take and/or were asked to be deleted. These are simply the kind of photos that the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un does not want the world to see.

At first, Lafforgue was interested in being a casual tourist in the communist country. But as the time went on, he began to reveal its only façade. And he wanted to go beyond what common people think of the nation, from catching a domestic glimpse of the land to how the regime completely reigns. Eric admitted that, like any other tourist, he was not allowed to take pictures of the police and the army, among others.

Thanks to his 300mm zoom lens and a comfortable sitting position at the back of his bus, he was able to take as many shots as he can. “As soon as they were opening a new area to visit, I tried to go and see it,” he said.

Well, without further ado, here the photos captured by Eric. Enjoy!

#1. Army pictures are not allowed.

#2. Tourists are not allowed to take pictures when there is no electricity.

#3. A soldier helping a farmer.

#4. It is true. People here often eat grasses from the park.

#5. Here is a rare photo of an undisciplined kid in North Korea.

#6. Wearing the right clothes or dress is very important there.

#7. It is natural for kids to actually play in the streets, not minding the vehicles passing.

#8. There is a reason why Pyongyang’s subway system is the deepest in the world. It is basiclly built twice its normal depth to serve as bomb shelter.

#9. Taking pictures of unfinished craft, like this painting, is not allowed.

#10. It is also prohibited to take pictures of malnutrition.

#11. If you sleep in Kaesong, just near the the Dmz, you will be locked in a hotel complex composed of old houses.

#12. Pictures of soldiers relaxing are not allowed to be taken.

#13. A fisherman who uses an old tire as a boat.

#14. Called the Pioneers Camp (located in Wonsan), tourists are advised to visit the place to show that the youth in the country is having fun.

#15. You can always photograph the animals but not the soldiers.

#16. Yes, queueing is an everyday thing in North Korea.

#17. It is not allowed for anyone to show the soldiers in a bad light.

#18. The government carefully selects people who are allowed to live in rural homes.

#19. A soldier sleeping in the field, and this photo was meant to be deleted.

#20. Photos that show poverty in North Korea is heavily frowned upon.

#21. This kind of activity is allowed, if and only if the cameramen are the ones sent by the government.

#22. Sometimes, you have to take alternate routes if you want to go from one place to another, as street closures frequently happen there.

#23. The country is also criticized for its low-key safety standards.

#24. Pyongyang is where you can find all sorts of food and drinks, most of which are sold in either Euros or Wons.

#25. If you are going to take pictures of the Kim statues, make sure you take it from the front.

#26. Most restaurants in North Korea serve only elite families.

#27. One of the reasons why it is prohibited to take pictures of sleeping men is for the fear of the Western Media describing them dead.

#28. Kids working in the farm is an everyday scenario.

#29. Soldiers love to help those in need, but you are still not allowed to take pictures of them.

30. Power outage in North Korea is a daily event, but Kim Jong-un does not want the whole world to know.

#31. Paranoai is a real thing in North Korea. People there are scared when you take pictures of them.

#32. They call these grey market vendors, who earn a little by selling cigarettes and sweets.

#33. Most people there appear to be tired, as they often use bicyles for transportation.

#34. Public transportation connecting the main towns is almost nonexistent.

#35. Two reasons why this photos is not allowed: 1.) There are soldiers; and 2.) The boy is wearing the cap in the wrong way.

#36. A rare photo of a wheelchair. In Eric’s entire trip, he only managed to see two of them.

#37. A broom next to the Kim statue is highly punishable.

#38. One of the things North Koreans love (or probably forced) to do is visit monuments.

#39. Showing povery is not acceptable, but boasting wealth is recommended.

#40. Taking pictues of a daily life of a person is not allowed, especially if he/she is not dressed properly.

So, what do you think about this illegal photos of North Korea? Would you still want to visit the country? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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