To show off how modern their lives are, the North Korean government has their tour guides take visitors to an “average” North Korean family to show off the fact that they can afford computers and are connected to a special, North Korea only intranet!
Although the screen didn’t work because there was no electricity when this photo was taken, the actress, or North Korean citizen, was still typing on the keyboard.
Malnutrition affects millions of children all over North Korea, with tens of thousands enduring stunted growth and severe nutritional deficiencies. The food shortages are partly caused due to a 20% decrease in food production leaving many outside the main cities - particularly children – with insufficient food to eat. In Pyongyang the situation is quite different, the leadership which has close ties to the regime is well fed and satisfied.
The taking of this photograph is against the law because it goes against the North Korean government claims that all the children in the country are well taken care of and none are underfed.
North Koreans are never tired
Very few North Koreans can afford private cars, therefore most of them walk or bike each way every day for many hours to reach their place of work.
Even professional cyclists competing in the Tour de France would complain after that much riding! However, that didn’t stop the photographer who snapped this shot from allegedly getting yelled at by his chaperone, on the basis that it is a crime to show people being tired in North Korea.
Due to the fact that running water is hard to come by across most of North Korea (even having a faucet is no guarantee because there is rarely water in the pipes), most people bathe outside in river. They go outside with some soap and let the current wash their dirt away.
The North Korean government forbids taking pictures of people bathing in rivers because the censors believe it portrays the country in a negative light as an impoverished backwater.
Fishing for food
Many men come to the Taedong River to try their luck at fishing for their supper. It may seem like this is a shot of rural life in an impoverished village, but it is actually from the North Korean Capital Pyongyang.
The whole of North Korea is suffering from malnutrition and fresh fish and meat are almost impossible to find in supermarkets. Therefore, these men need to fish in the city’s river in order to secure the protein necessary for them and their families.