Polish photographer Michal Huniewicz did something that no one has ever done! He visited North Korea and managed to take photos of the place, illegally. Because of course North Korea does not just let one take photos of their secrets and show them all over the world! Dictator Kim Jong-Un wants to show the world the capital city, Pyongang because it is the only city that is developed at all. Michal managed to take these pictures from his hip so that he would not be caught. Pretty smart!
“I visited North Korea and took these photos, most of them illegal, so you could get a more candid look into the most mysterious country on the planet. I was told I would be detained in case photos like these were found (‘You took many photos. Too many,’ – said my guide), but I managed to smuggle them out of the country, which was very stressful. We had an American in our small group, he was attracting a lot of attention, which allowed me to photograph more easily. I used a Nikon D300s with a 24-70 mm, which isn’t really a good combo.”
Here are the pictures:
#1. Military personnel in the capital city of Pyongyang. They are found wherever one goes.
#2. On your left is North Korea and on your right is China. The difference between them is for you to see and judge.
#3. Same is the case in this picture which was taken at night.
#4. Several of these forms are to be filled by the tourists after entering the country.
#5. This photo was taken from train, where photography is prohibited.
#6. People waiting to sell human waste, which is used as fertilizers.
#7. “(The Korean Workers’) Party is never going to forget the comrades of Rakwon [city].”
#8. You need permit to travel within the country! Imagine if we had to take permission to take all the road trips that we take.
#9. North Korean soldiers patrolling, just because!
#10. Countryside and a bunch of restrictions!
#11. “Arrival in Pyongyang. I believe this was staged, as there were no other trains that day, so those elegant looking travellers had no reason to be there.”
#12. “Pyongyang – we were intercepted by our guides, who we could not leave during the entire stay, and who’d tell us when to sleep and when to wake up.”
#13. Streets of Pyangyong.
#14. Brutalist architecture because even the buildings want to scare you!
#15. The cityscape from Michal’s Yanggakdo hotel.
#16. Where is the 5th floor?! “The door is almost always closed, but if you manage to get in, the place is full of propaganda posters, and people speculate it’s used for spying on the guests.”
#17. The hotel staff did not interact with the tourists and were in fact, scared of them!
#18. Kim Il-Sung’s square, the only place that they really want you to photograph, because mandatory tourist attraction!
#19. “Those allowed to live in Pyongyang are privileged, and wear a badge that is impossible to buy (you can get a fake one in China).”
#20. This photo is illegal, as the statues are not supposed to be photographed!
#21. “I had 15 seconds to take this picture. This shop is for the locals only, and I was kicked out of it by my guide soon after taking this photo, but he didn’t see me taking it.”
#22. Souvenirs were available everywhere, mostly because they have so many tourists all the time!
#23. “Within maybe a minute or two from leaving the train we were all squeezed into a minivan that would be our second home for the entire stay. Although it’s okay to take your smartphone with you, there will be no reception and/or Wi-Fi anywhere. Your phone will be thoroughly searched on your way out.”
#24. “There was hardly any traffic, but they took our passports away and forbade us to go anywhere on our own in case we participate in a car accident.” Wait, what?!
#25. Just some North Korean workers doing their thing.
#26. This guy is so dead!
#27. Socialist murals can be seen in plenty in North Korea.
#28. Well obviously they look like that travelling to work!