The North Korean propaganda machine is very sensitive about showing the world their poor and starving citizens. They try to maintain a façade of success, strength and happiness with carefully crafted publicity shots. This photographer managed to take a picture of a North Korean worker who is clearly malnourished and suffering from iron deficiency brought on by lack of food.
This was a very dangerous photograph to take, if the photographer was caught, he could be put in a concentration camp for his “crime”.
A real street
This picture was taken during a tour of the North Korean border town of Kaesong, located on the border with South Korea. The tour guide focused on the nicer area of the town near the hotel and gave assurances that the rest of the town looked the same.
The photographer succeeded in sneaking a few shots of the rampant poverty which is rampant in all areas of North Korea outside the capital city of Pyongyang.
A tire boat
Similarly to the fishermen on the Taedong River, this villager from the countryside of North Korea is trying to catch fish for his family to eat, as there is no way they will get any in their government approved rations.
In his desperation for sustenance, he has decided on an original way to improve his chances and is using an old tractor tire as a boat and paddling it to the middle of a small pond. Fingers crossed that the fish were biting that day.
This photo of a bathroom was taken inside an average North Korean home. The photographer managed to snap it while evading his official tour guide for a precious minute. The picture shows the bathroom’s plumbing system which as you can see does not exist.
A hand pump for pumping underground water is clearly seen, with the water being pumped into a bathtub. However, this water is not used for bathing, it is drinking water and the bathtub is actually an in-house water storage tank!
All is dark
Electricity shortages that cause blackouts are common all over North Korea and occur even in the capital of Pyongyang. In this photo, all the city lights are out due to no electricity being available at the time. However, one thing is still lit up - a picture of the beloved North Korean leader.
A North Korean citizen may claim that this is proof of their leader’s divinity, while a skeptic may argue that all it takes to make this happen is a handy citizen with an electrical generator.