If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Japan Times)   Rare photos of Best Korea shows life beyond the 38th parallel, no Unicorns   (japantimes.co.jp) divider line 22
    More: Interesting  
•       •       •

31730 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Dec 2012 at 10:47 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-12-16 10:55:04 AM
8 votes:
Don't believe the terrible things you've heard. Just look at these ten carefully-selected pictures!
2012-12-16 01:50:43 PM
5 votes:
I have been to North Korea four times and have traveled far beyond Pyongyang. The capitol is atypical of the country but still is a good barometer for viewing the upper segments of the society.

I have over 4000 photos on Flickr Link and a library of over 20,000 photos. I lecture on the DPRK.

While we are fully escorted (I am an American) if you know what to look for then you will see the society as a whole. As bad as the DPRK is they cannot hide everything. Sure we go to an amusement park and the propaganda sites but when you are in the rural areas for a week at a time you see what more of the people live like.

I can show scenes of happy people (which I have been criticized for) or the misery that you are looking for.

farm7.staticflickr.com
Older women breaking up rocks on the Youth Highway (Pyongyang to Nampo)

I have seen plenty of miserable scenes that I have not been able to photograph but I have seen similar things in rural China. Rural poverty in Asia is common. 

farm7.staticflickr.com

Scene near Po'ch-on on the eastern coast.

Indeed this is the most fascinating place to visit but to see the country you have to get out into the countryside and see the harvest, the small villages and the formerly closed cities. I was in the first group to see Hamhung and it was fascinating to see. Chongjin was just opened and they really did not want us to photograph that city. Finally more are getting in and we are able to get a better glimpse but what are you seeing? Look behind what they are showing you.

farm3.staticflickr.com

This is an illegal black market seller in Nampo (2009). Now that the regime has relaxed private selling you see more of this.

farm7.staticflickr.com

Sellers congregate at a crossroads near Anju.

What are the common people eating? I will often wander and see what is going on while rural people are eating lunch. Take a look. I have been in food distribution areas but was not able to photograph. I have been with physicians in rural areas looking at the nutritional conditions. It is third world marginal. I have seen bloated bellies. Rickets can be found. I have been to schools but looking at the schools I have not been in I can see a difference.

There are things they prefer not to show. I seek out those kinds of things.

farm7.staticflickr.com

Anti-American propaganda at a Chongjin primary school.

Getting to see the indoctrination room (the one for Kim Jong-Il) was great. A teacher took us to this one and I know they are not that keen to show this. They will show you the one for the Great Leader Kim Il-sung.

farm7.staticflickr.com

The farms and fields are where you get a great sense of agriculture. Corn is dried by hand. In the fall the roads are golden with corn.

farm4.staticflickr.com

I think there are three significant photographers of the DPRK.

Kernbeisser Link
Eric LafforgueLink
Mine are on Flickr Link

Kernbeisser has the best access,
Eric is the best photographer
I have the most and a broad geographic reach (every open place in the country over a four year period)
2012-12-16 01:59:49 PM
4 votes:

Somacandra: p51d007: Hand picked photos of the CAPITAL of North Korea. How about venturing OUTSIDE (which they would have been shot for doing), and photograph the rest of North Korea?

FTFA: Gradually, he said, the minders relaxed their watch over him - not only letting him shoot schools, shops and parks as he wished, but also letting him photograph random scenes from the street, both in Pyongyang and rural areas..."Wherever I went, people recognized me as a foreigner - a Japanese," he said, noting that his carefully permed bouffant hairstyle gave him away. "They would call out, 'Japanese,' dismissively, frown, and then tell the minders to exert more control over me." He said demonstrations of animosity toward Japanese people were not uncommon. "With the history of colonialism and the lack of diplomatic relations at present, that is understandable, particularly in the rural areas," he said.

I understand...reading is HARD, right?



Again - do you seriously believe this this photographer had free reign to go where he pleased? Is it so hard to imagine that the Party has some quaint countryside villages lined up for guys like this, who want to go out and "see the country?"

But right, I'm sure that his Handlers were totally willing to "look the other way" and let him photograph embarrassing material, because this guy was such a cool guy. They knew that he was a journalist, and would publish every picture he took, and The Party would see those pictures and know exactly which Handlers were assigned to the guy. But yes, I'm sure they'd be totally happy to gamble their position at the top of North Korean society, and risk life imprisonment in a work camp, all because this guy was such a broseph, and they could be his buds for a few hours.

This guy is a classic case of seeing what he wants to see, the sort of person Dictatorships absolutely count upon to legitimize their rule.
2012-12-16 11:05:39 AM
4 votes:
I visited North Korea for vacation this past September.

Spent about a week mostly in Pyongyang, with some day trips to the DMZ, an industrial city, and a 'resort' village. Even got to see the Mass Games twice during the trip. I've traveled to a number of interesting places, but North Korea is by far the single most interesting place I've ever been to. Their people are completely isolated from the rest of the world - no internet, no ability to call outside the country, no ability to leave the county, no foreign media, only two or three state run tv channels pumping out propaganda 24 hours a day, almost no outside information whatsoever. It's like being in a huge, mind boggling social experiment. You essentially have an entire generation of people since the Korean war that know next to nothing about the outside world other than what the government has taught them. It's an absolutely fascinating experience.

The people in DPRK were incredibly friendly too, even knowing that I'm an American. I actually feel really bad for the Koreans - they're completely held hostage by their leadership.

I'd highly suggest that anyone with with more than just a passing curiosity a of DPRK visit themselves to see it first hand. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

Took a ton of photos while there:
DPRK Vacation 2012

Much of DPRK is grey and dreary like you'd expect, but there's a surprising amount of color, often in places you would not expect.
2012-12-16 10:34:44 AM
4 votes:
meh, that's just Pyongyang. Potempkin village is Potempkin.
2012-12-16 11:47:19 AM
3 votes:

whatshisname: krhn: Much of DPRK is grey and dreary like you'd expect, but there's a surprising amount of color, often in places you would not expect.

Thanks for sharing. Did you get the feeling you weren't seeing everything? We're you able to go to rural areas?


I was most definitely not seeing everything. The DPRK government's strength over its people rests with its ability to control information being imported and exported from the country. The tours are designed to highlight only the best aspects of DPRK, so that people leave with mostly positive stories and photos. To be fair, there's a lot of wonderful things in DPRK, but you always get the sense that you're not getting the complete picture. There's no ability to deviate from the approved tour itinerary, and the guides are constantly checking in with the office to validate that stops on the tour are still OK to visit.

For the most part, the trip was concentrated in Pyongyang. We were able to see one approved rural village, but you could tell it was on the itinerary because it embodied idealistic rural life. When traveling from one destination to another, you do see bits of the real rural life, but it is limited. As much as they try to present a wholly positive image of the country, there's always a bit of the real Korea showing through the cracks of the facade.

One thing that was interesting was how much military there was. All over Pyongyang, groups of 10, 20, 50+ soldiers would be together walking down the streets, or in the public spaces. They were all mostly unarmed, well dressed, and looked healthy. On a day trip from Pyongyang to the DMZ, we passed some rural areas and again saw soldiers, though this time they were wearing ratty clothing, looked on the verge of starving to death, and were digging ditches and pouring concrete. DPRK supposedly has the 4th largest standing military in the world, but I think it would be more fair to say they have the largest forced labor pool in the world. Those poor guys couldn't defend themselves on the battlefield for anything.

Pyongyang is basically where the privileged party loyalists live. They live a relatively good life compared to those living outside of Pyongyang. Life for them is probably pretty decent, at least by their standards. Life outside of Pyongyang would be very, very difficult though.
2012-12-16 11:19:23 AM
3 votes:
Every picture released from North Korea seems like it was staged at gunpoint.
2012-12-16 11:04:32 AM
3 votes:
Here's a link I've posted a few times about an American teacher living in in South Korea, who travels to North Korea with a group of tourists for the Arirang Festival. Lot's of pictures and he also speaks fluent Korean, which made his trip even more interesting. "Journey into Kimland"
2012-12-16 03:11:13 PM
1 votes:

DarkHealer: Anyone else notice the running kid in #3? I see details of his STERNUM.

I guess that's not uncommon there but yikes.


data.whicdn.com
2012-12-16 02:21:24 PM
1 votes:
I mean the pool girl is cute and all, but it does look like she could use a sammich.
2012-12-16 01:13:15 PM
1 votes:
Anyone else notice the running kid in #3? I see details of his STERNUM.

I guess that's not uncommon there but yikes.
2012-12-16 01:10:15 PM
1 votes:

p51d007: Hand picked photos of the CAPITAL of North Korea. How about venturing OUTSIDE (which they would have been shot for doing), and photograph the rest of North Korea?


FTFA: Gradually, he said, the minders relaxed their watch over him - not only letting him shoot schools, shops and parks as he wished, but also letting him photograph random scenes from the street, both in Pyongyang and rural areas..."Wherever I went, people recognized me as a foreigner - a Japanese," he said, noting that his carefully permed bouffant hairstyle gave him away. "They would call out, 'Japanese,' dismissively, frown, and then tell the minders to exert more control over me." He said demonstrations of animosity toward Japanese people were not uncommon. "With the history of colonialism and the lack of diplomatic relations at present, that is understandable, particularly in the rural areas," he said.

I understand...reading is HARD, right?
2012-12-16 12:40:08 PM
1 votes:

ElLoco: They are the 1%.


This.

At a recent talk in Tokyo, Hatsuzawa explained that many people's first reaction to his photographs of the so-called Hermit Kingdom is that he must have been duped - that the North Korean propaganda machine must have planted these oddly photogenic people in his path in order to create a good impression.

If you were taking pictures around the capital, and you think that they represent the country, then you were duped, moron. Only happy shiny party loyalists are permitted to live in the capital. And you were apparently duped on four separate trips, without figuring it out. People were bright and cheery because those who don't act that way, 24/7, tend to attract lots of interest from the authorities on why they might be disgruntled.

Chalk up another win for the DPRK Propaganda machine - they've created another foreign mouthpiece to spread their lies.
2012-12-16 11:58:36 AM
1 votes:
Hand picked photos of the CAPITAL of North Korea. How about venturing OUTSIDE (which they would have been shot for doing), and photograph the rest of North Korea?
The best photo of North Korea, is the one taken AT NIGHT.
Well, at least you could get a good view of the stars LOL.

www.newscientist.com
2012-12-16 11:40:03 AM
1 votes:

ElLoco: They are the 1%.


And this is how life really is in the United States..

blog.regentjet.com
www.gtspirit.com
2012-12-16 11:39:29 AM
1 votes:

SnarfVader: Very interesting find. I did not expect the pictures to be so colorful.


Best Korea changed from Black and White to Color about 2 years ago.
It was an expensive project and caused mass food shortages.
2012-12-16 11:25:10 AM
1 votes:
I recommend Escape From Camp 14 for anyone curious about about the less traveled parts of North Korea.
2012-12-16 11:22:56 AM
1 votes:
North Korea photos by flickr user Kernbessier. He has been taking photos nearly everyday for the past 6 years from inside North Korea and posting them here.
2012-12-16 11:20:03 AM
1 votes:
I love North Korea very much from a different perspective. It gives a very good justification for South Korea and Japan to buy expensive American military weapons. North Korea is helping the American economy in a different way.

Let's keep North Korea evil and inhumane mostly because the free democratic parts of the world need a insignificant and aggressive scapegoat with a nuclear weapon. Eventually modern democracy needs a perpetual enemy like North Korea to prosper itself.
2012-12-16 10:57:10 AM
1 votes:
At a recent talk in Tokyo, Hatsuzawa explained that many people's first reaction to his photographs of the so-called Hermit Kingdom is that he must have been duped - that the North Korean propaganda machine must have planted these oddly photogenic people in his path in order to create a good impression.

Man, this.
2012-12-16 10:52:31 AM
1 votes:
They are the 1%.
2012-12-16 10:49:50 AM
1 votes:
Looks iike a fun place. Esp with the political officers standing around with clubs every 10 feet.
 
Displayed 22 of 22 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report