Photography in North Korea is restricted and heavily patrolled. More often than not, photography is not even allowed. Here are 28 banned photos that were secretly smuggled out of North Korea. They all offer a fascinating and heartbreaking look into the secluded nation.
1. North Korea is not only extremely isolated, but also very secretive, and tourists visiting the country must be accompanied by government officials at all times. Eric Lafforgue is a photographer who has visited North Korea a total of six times, and the photos he took there are extremely compelling. He made it inside the borders of North Korea and risked it all by smuggling memory cards with countless pictures out of the country. He is now banned from entering the country again. Now, because of the photos he took, people around the world are able to get a glimpse of what life in North Korea is really like. This first image is a photo of a Kim Jong-un statue in North Korea. It is considered rude and disrespectful to take pictures of any Kim statue from behind. Was Lafforgue trying to make a political statement with this photo? It’s not clear, but it is a striking photo.
2. A lineup for a bus. Whether or not this is an average day in North Korea is not clear, but there have been various reports throughout the years stating that many societal services within North Korea are not fully functioning. This photo of North Koreans waiting in line for a bus could be an example of that.