The entire country of North Korea 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.
‘This soldier was sleeping in a field. This picture really contributed to me getting banned from the country.’
A woman standing in the middle of a crowd of soldiers. This picture is not supposed to be taken as officials do not allow army pictures.
‘The North Korean army is said to be one of the most important in the world. But if you travel there, you’ll often see soldiers doing menial tasks like helping farmers.’
‘Outside urban areas, such a scene is fairly common.’
‘Pyongyang’s subway system is the deepest in the world as it doubles as a bomb shelter. Someone saw me taking this picture and told me to delete it since it included the tunnel.’
‘The North Korean officials hate when you take this kind of picture. Even when I explain that poverty exists all around the world, in my own country as well, they forbid me from taking pictures of the poor.’