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Shocking Photos of Everyday North Korean Life

Photographer Eric Lafforgue has been to North Korea several times and has managed to smuggle photos of contemporary life out. North Korea works hard to control its image as a modern and righteous country. Lafforgues' shots, however, reveal a strikingly different reality. Here are some photos showing a land the rest of the world rarely gets to see.  

 
Reality of North Korea
This shot of a soldier sleeping on the side of the road is the one that Lafforgue claims got him banned from the country.
 
Even capital city Pyongyang looks bleak
Reality of North Korea
Since officials regulate everything, tourists are contained to one hotel and are not allowed to go off without a guide. Pyongyang, the capital city, maintains her buildings' exteriors but Lafforgue still managed to capture some of the bleaker looking buildings.
 
Soldiers everywhere
Reality of North Korea
Officials were not pleased when Lafforgue snapped this photo showing soldiers at ease. He was asked to delete it, a recurring theme throughout his trip.
 
Subways are also bomb shelters
Reality of North Korea
 
The internet is monitored
Reality of North Korea
North Korea aspires to appear modern and were happy to show Lafforgue students using computers. The reality, however, is that the internet is limited to government-approved sites, and international sites are blocked.
 
Outdated plumbing systems
Reality of North Korea
 
Malnutrition is a common sight
Reality of North Korea
 
Strong patriotism is enforced
Reality of North Korea
Citizens are obligated to dress up and celebrate the Kimjongilia festival - a public holiday that honors the country's Supreme Leaders.
 
There are more children than cars on the streets
Reality of North Korea
 
Daily power outages and shortages
Reality of North Korea
 
Love for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong I everywhere
Reality of North Korea
Citizens are required by law to have framed photos of late leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong Il hanging in their homes, and are also given a special towel to polish them with. You are also required to bow when approaching their statues.
 
Supermarkets are for the elite
Reality of North Korea
 
While most locals struggle to find food
Reality of North Korea
Reality of North Korea
Officials prefer that these sorts of images portraying poverty be deleted. It goes against their continual efforts to appear as a happy, thriving nation.
 
You can't forget the army
Reality of North Korea
 
Reality of North Korea
The army has a big presence and is portrayed as powerful, but a lot of the time its soldiers are doing manual labor such as farming.
 
Endless bus lines
Reality of North Korea
Public transport is hardly developed. Permits are required to travel between towns.
 
Sketchy safety standards
Reality of North Korea
 
In hard times, children are used for labor
Reality of North Korea
 
Blame America
Reality of North Korea
North Korea has a widespread hate for America. South Korea is considered occupied by Americans, Americans are referred to as 'Imperialists' and North Korea calls itself "Korea". The North Koreans blame American embargo for a power failure at this gallery.
 
H/T: news.com.au
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