Smuggled North Korea Photos

Picture of Smuggled North Korea Photos

× The entire country is shrouded in both literal and figurative darkness, making it one of the most mysterious places in the world. Not many outsiders have a chance to visit North Korea -in fact, it's nearly impossible for American to venture in without a pricey and heavily regulated visa. One photographer, Eric Lafforgue managed to visit the world's most peculiar and talked-about nation six times, and the photos he took there are truly compelling.

For those that make it inside North Korea's borders, photography is highly-restricted and frowned upon. Using memory cards that he had to smuggle out of the country illegally, Lafforgue was able to share North Korea with the world in a way it has never been seen before. See the photos, along with Lafforgue's descriptions, below.

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Michal Huniewicz risked detention by taking photos of everyday life in North Korea and smuggling them outPhotographer visited the secretive state and managed to evade the watchful eye of his official tour guideCleaners are seen sweeping in Pyongyang and a waitress works next to a television broadcasting propagandaCustomers form reveals what is banned in the country, including pornography and the comedy film, The InterviewBy Michal Huniewicz In North Korea For Mailonline and Tom Wyke and Jenny Stanton For Mailonline Published: 04:41 EST, 11 March 2016 | Updated: 12:23 EST, 11 March 2016 A daring photographer has risked detention to smuggle a series of stunning images of North Korea out of the secretive state.

Michal Huniewicz captured the photographs he knew Kim Jong-un would not want you to see during a trip to the country, before sneaking them out on hidden memory cards.Unlike the polished photographs peddled by the state-run news agency, Mr Huniewicz’s images give a raw insight into a poverty-ridden country controlled by a dictator. He went to North Korea from China last year and travelled with a tour guide - one of the conditions of being allowed a visit.

Mr Huniewicz evaded his minder's watchful eye to take these photographs, which give a unique glimpse into North Koreans' everyday lives.Some are pictured working in the fields, while others are seen working in the squeaky-clean capital, Pyongyang.In one image, street cleaners sweep pavements under the watchful eye of a soldier in one of Pyongyang's parks, and others reveal waitresses working in restaurants where propaganda images are broadcast around the clock on television.

A photograph of a customs form reveals what cannot be brought into the country. Mr Huniewicz revealed laptops are searched for the Hollywood film The Interview, a comedy about Kim Jong-un, which is banned in North Korea.Follow Michael Huniewicz on Twitter: @m_huniewicz  Watchful eye: Street cleaners sweep pavements for dust under the keen eye of a soldier in one of the parks in the capital city, Pyongyang Propaganda: A waitress works in a restaurant in North Korea where propaganda images are broadcast on television around the clock Rural: Locals watch and wait for a train to pass, providing Michal with a few seconds to snap this image of life in North Korea's countryside Everyday life: A mother carrying a baby walks alongside other women and children in the streets in this picture taken by Michael Huniewicz Risky: Michal captured the photos, including this one of North Koreans travelling in a bus, before smuggling them out of the country Unseen: Dressed in identical brown uniforms and matching yellow hard hats, North Korean workers carry their equipment on a main road Checks: Michal took this photo of a customs declaration form revealing the items banned from being brought into the country.

Laptops were searched for any controversial content, including Korean films, pornography and even guide books Entry point: Dandong station, one of the only entry points into North Korea for foreign tourists, was deserted when Michal was there Deceiving? A staged scene appeared to be playing out at Pyongyang's main station, with passengers happily milling around despite an apparent lack of any other departing trains While much of North Korea's main city seemed spotlessly clean, this photo reflects a more realistic side to the city life for many residents Images of North Korean soldiers was a particularly risky subject matter although these two fighters appear too deep in discussion to be bothered by the covert snapper A battered white pickup truck carryinh North Korean soldiers, unaware they are being photographed, rumbles along a dusty road Photographs of the rural parts of North Korea reveal miles of uninterrupted green fields and stunning landscapes, where farming remains key for surival The depressing grey concrete tower blocks stand among the rest of the gloomy architecture in North Korea's capital city, Pyongyang The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge remains one of the last bright lights for tourists entering North Korea from southeastern China '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,' Michal told Bored Panda A serious-looking North Korean man stares back at the camera while travelling aboard a busy commuter bus in the capital city Leaving the hermit state remains extremely difficult for many North Koreans, with numerous watchtowers positioned in rural areas to prevent anyone from going astray A man in uniform mans a train crossing, in this picture taken secretly by Michal.

Few people own cars and many ride bikes in the country Fields stretch for as far as the eye can see in this image. People ride bicycles and use carriages, rather than driving cars and trucks A handful of groceries are on sale in this shop in the city. The shelves seem bare apart from a few bags of what appears to be dried fruit Three young girls play next to crops, which have been planted near a dilapidated pink tower block.

This is not the kind of picture you'd expect to see coming out of North Korea The streets of the capital appear to be filled with smartly dressed taxi drivers waiting beside their green and bronze coloured vehicles Taking photographs in North Korea remains a difficult and risky task, with the government minders closely watching out for any straying foreign tourists Two young North Korean women carry an arrangement of flowers through a car park.

Although both are well dressed, many people in the country are living in poverty Getting to work: Road workers repair street lights in the city while standing precariously on top of an ancient-looking red truck A group of women in smart skirts, shirts and red scarfs are pictures sweeping an already spotless pathway in North Korea's capital city The towering buildings dwarf the people wandering the wide pavements as they go about their daily business in Pyongyang Dilapidated: Michal took this photograph of an old residential building, which has been decorated with sad-looking pink flowers The towering metal statues of North Korea's founding father Kim Il-Sung and King Jong-Il stand a over a group of women in the square People walk under the watchful eye of North Korea's former leaders in the secretive state, which welcomes very few foreign visitors A traffic officer stands to attention at the side of the road, however there are no cars to be seen.

Very few people own a car in the country A large screen television broadcasts a programme about North Korea's late leaders in a quiet hotel reception area in the capital city Many of the buildings in North Korea are high rise, like this one visited by photographer Michal when he visited the secretive state The grey skyline matches the tower blocks in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, which has recently built its own ice rink and water park A boy leans on a table and looks out of the window of a train at railway workers sitting on the ground during the journey to North Korea The eye-opening visit started with a train journey from the Chinese city of Dandong to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

A large illuminated statue of Chairman Mao watches over the city in the southeastern province of Liaoning

Wilma Lawrence

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