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Portraits of locals

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Portraits of locals

by Viola Zhou I tried to interact with local people. Most of the time they walked away with a poker face when I pointed at my camera and smiled, indicating I wanted to take a photo. But some people gave very friendly responses. The tour guide said people in North Korea study English as their second language beginning in primary school.  After entering college, they will learn a third language such as Chinese, Russian or Japanese. I did not encounter someone other than the tour guides who speaks Chinese, but many people do understand some...

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The Korean countryside

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The Korean countryside

Only recently have tourists been allowed to take photos out of the bus window. These are photos on the Reunification Highway between Pyongyang and on the Chongsan-ri Co-operative farm just outside of Pyongyang.   by Viola Zhou Children play at a school on the Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm. by Crystal Tse Greenhouses on the Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm are open to tourist visits. by Alice Wan A North Korean walks with goats outside of Pyongyang. Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country would move from grain-fed livestock...

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Pyongyang Life

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Pyongyang Life

Only recently have tourists been allowed to bring cameras and mobile phones into North Korea and photograph Pyongyong residents. by Shan Shan Kao A North Korean child skates in full gear at a rollerblade park in Pyongyang. by Joanna Wong A North Korean wears a rare double-breasted suit at the Kaeson Youth Park. by Yupina Ng Younger North Koreans often wear light colours, unlike the adults. by Alice Wan Buses are one of the major forms of public transportation in Pyongyang, in addition to the subway, tram and taxi. by Viola Zhou Students play...

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Pyongyang Metro

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Pyongyang Metro

The Pyongyang metro has hundreds of thousands of riders a day, North Korea says. One defector said people are afraid to take it because of frequent power cuts.Train stations are ornately decorated similar to the Moscow metro. The Pyongyang metro is one of the deepest in the world.   by Annie Lee Metro passengers in Pyongyang read the newspaper. More than 100 meters deep, some of the stations are modeled on the ornate Moscow Metro with chandeliers and colorful murals. by Joanna Wong North Koreans entering a gate at the Yonggwang station...

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Art

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Art

By Annie Lee The propaganda posters and exclamative red signs illustrate enduring love for the deceased presidents. The music praises the nation and the contribution of the leaders by Mari Chow by Annie Lee A spotlight crowns the portrait of Kim II-sung, in the middle, of a mural in the metro, showing the nation's godlike perception of their former leader. by Annie Lee Vivid propaganda posters are ubiquitous on the broad sidewalks in Pyongyang. by Annie Lee By Annie Lee Kim II-sung wears a school child's scarf in this mural. by Annie Lee...

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Food

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Food

by Joanna Wong by Joanna Wong Our tour group eats dinner in green-lit BBQ duck restaurant. by Joanna Wong On the flight to Pyongyang, Air Koryo serves a cold hamburger wrapped with lettuce. by Joanna Wong The hotpot dinner includes a dish of bread and cake, a dish of pork and vegetables, an egg and kimchi. by Joanna Wong Kimchi is one of the most popular dishes in Korea, North and South. by Joanna Wong Naengmyeon cold noodle soup is popular in North Korea. by Joanna Wong North Korean women make traditional pancake at a folk custom house in...

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Kids

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Kids

Children consume propaganda from birth. The Juche ideology and the leaders Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-un are the spirits of the country and their ideas are sacrosanct. Children learn to hate American and Japanese. They receive free education of four years of elementary school and seven years of middle school, a tour guide said. After two exams, only the top 30 percent can get into a university, another tour guide added. All schools are funded by the government. The three aims of education: knowledge, morality and physical...

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Ground and Sky

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Ground and Sky

By Shan Shan Kao Pyongyang is focused on scale: Statues are huge, monuments are towering and buildings are vast. Instead, this series of photos shows the details of everyday life. by Shan Shan Kao Looking down from the Tower of Juche Idea by Shan Shan Kao The ground of an open space next to Kim Il-sung Square, along the Taedong River. by Shan Shan Kao People using buckets hand water plants on the roadside in North Korea. by Shan Shan Kao A stone path at the Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm, halfway between Nampo and Pyongyang. by Shan Shan Kao...

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Fashion

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Fashion

Uniformity is one of the main ideologies in North Korea and it shows up in the fashion.  The monotone outfits, with sand, navy blue, grey or black suits with one row of buttons, gives everyday dress the feeling of a military style.  The exception is the women’s traditional dress, the choson-ot, usually brightly coloured. Nearly all North Koreans wear red badges above their heart with the portraits of the two late great leaders, Kim II-sung and Kim Jung-il. by Viola Zhou It was recently reported that all male university students must...

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Transportation

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Transportation

Most people in North Korea travel by public transport or bicycle. Traffic is light with rare private cars, which are gifts to certain people by the government, though it has been increasing lately. The main roads are spacious and manned by traffic police in distinctive blue uniforms. By Annie Lee Cycling is a major form of transport in Pyongyang. There is little private car ownership. Cars are given as rewards for extraordinary service to the country, such as to athletes or officials. by Joanna Wong Cyclists cross a bridge over the Taedong...

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