Traveling Through Lonely North Korea

Traveling Through Lonely North Korea

Ruling Communism, armed soldiers in every street, strict discipline, loneliness, and Kim II Sung. That’s today’s North Korea in a nutshell.

Jean H. Lee as The Associated Press bureau chief in Seoul, and David Guttenfelder as AP’s chief Asia photographer, have together traveled a lot to North Korea the past 3-4 years. They visited Pyongyang several times, and the photos they took are truly showing how a typical day looks like in this capital. Pyongyang has been completely redesigned since the Korean War that lasted from 1950 to 1953. Now it has wide avenues, imposing monuments, and monolithic buildings which certainly can bee seen in the photos. The people are very private, which makes it hard for a tourist to reach out to them. Internet is almost non-existent and cellphones are not allowed.

In the photos you can feel this coldness and the loneliness. It appears like a town and a country with no love and no warmth. The streets are empty with almost no life, and when honoring Kim II Sung the people look like an army with deep respect to the former politician. The trips had made huge impression on Lee and Guttenfelder, and now they are sharing it with us in best possible way.

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  1. jason
    August 3, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

    Lonely country indeed…very sad.

  2. Bohemian Trails
    May 28, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Interesting article – I don’t read too much about North Korea. These pictures are really great!

  3. Richard
    December 26, 2014 @ 12:46 am

    Americans and West Europens always want to show how sad and inapropriate is the rest of the world, the part of the world which thinks differently. North Korea is bad because it is communist, so in your photos, movies etc. you only show, what is sad, irritating, lonely. The photographer simply didn’t want to show beautiful and happy moments, places etc. This is so typical, because you can only destroy, satirize, criticize. Think of yourself and leave rest of the world alone! You already have destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Vietnam, Panama, Liberia, Somalia and now my lovely Ukraine. You bastards leave us alone!

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