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Photo Samples, North Korea

 

North Korea is a kind of a joke! Unfortunately to its present and future citizens, Kim Il Sung had to carry out his incredibly stupid social experiment on their home soil, and the result is a part-time high-tech country where everybody seems to work within agriculture, and where nobody can feed themselves. Every single inch of the country seems to be farm land, but still there is not food enough. Perhaps it has something to do with the extreme desire to keep up an incredible and very unproductive army? More than one million men are reported to be in the army instead of doing some kind of sensible work, such as industry. Or perhaps the reason is the eager building of extreme monuments to the glory of Kim Il Sung - who's still president despite the fact that he died in July 1994!

These and other paradoxes are just too evident to the visitor, however, any trip to The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea must be done in a group, and with an official guide. This guide doesn't reaaly want to guide you, but he'll definitely make sure that you don't get to see things not meant for the western eye. Consequently, the opportunities for the photographer are rather poor, as he'll never let you lose on a market or just on a street. Instead, you have to see loads of "great monuments", and the rest of the photography have to be done by "cheating and hiding". They even control your photos upon departure, unless your camera possesses the highly recommendable "hide" function.

All photos are, of course  Claus Qvist Jessen, and none of them are to used without my permission. Abrochure onmy slide show on North Korea can be downloaded HERE.

The landmark of a whole country: The spectacular, 20 metre bronze statue of The Great Leader, Kim Il Sung. Built in 1972 and placed on Mansu Hill, Pyongyang, this monument was, reportedly, made by the people in gratitude of the Leaders efforts to do good for the people! Imagine if North Korea made houses and public bus according to the same quality rules!  Claus Qvist Jessen

A closer look at Mansu Hill, Pyongyang, North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

North Korea is full of statues showing the immense physical performance of the Communist worker. They just have to be superior to all the mortals in the West, so how come that their standard of living is so incredibly low? Bad management, I should think! Pyongyang, North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

When you enter North Korea, the cell phone is confiscated and/or sealed and stamped to prevent subversive and private phone talking; Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The view from 30th floor; Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea. The peaky obelisk in the background is the Juche Tower, at 170 meters the tallest stone tower in the world.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The southern "gate" from Pyongyang, North Korea. Another glorification of the proud Communist people as opposed to the grim and dreary imperialists of the West.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A part of a large mosaic, made to commemorate Kim Il Sung giving his first speech to the eagerly listening, Korean people. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The birth-place of The Great Leader, Kim Il Sung; outside Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A mosaic showing the young Kim Il Sung, preparing to lead the Korean peole the right way; outside Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

     

The 170 meter "Juche Monument" of Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. Juche is an ideology which focuses on selv reliance, even if this means that the people have to starve. The Juche symbol itself is a combination of the hammer (the worker), the sickle (the farmer) and the calligraphy brush (the intellectuals).  Claus Qvist Jessen

Yet another imposing monument - to the Workers Party of Korea; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. As above, the Juche triumvirat of hammer, sickle and brush is shown.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War, the one everybody else calls the Korean War. You have to be north Korean to see the war as victorious; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Wedding party at the monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. Note that the bride is always in red, as is the case in South Korea, China and most other countries in the region.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The newly-weds. Our guide didn't like this photo as it included two "common people", and in particular one military man, however, the couple didn't mind.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Imposing detail from a fountain; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. they are really some kind of super-humans, these Commies!  Claus Qvist Jessen

Flower seller; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

An official propaganda calender; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Why do the kids collect grass seeds? Noone seems to know. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Communist style garden lamp; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The Martyr's Cemetary where all the heroes from various wars are buried, starting from the 30'ies against the Japanese; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The centrepiece of the Martyr's Cemetary: The wife of Kim Il Sung, who died in 1949, just a few years after the birth of The Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

North Korean kids don't walk - they march, preparing them to the early destiny of being a happy, loyal soldier; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The local Arch of Triumph, at 60 meters 10 meters taller than the original in Paris. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A triumphant detail from the Korean Arch of Triumph. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Juche symbols on stamps; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Kim Jong Il pictures on stamps. The one in the upper / middle is The Dear Leader shaking hands with his Southern counterpart, Kim Dae Jong; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The entrance to the Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. Of course, the Great and Dear Leaders ("The Dynamic Duo") are the true saviours of the kids.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Accordeon girls at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Girl playing the traditional stringed "steel guitar" at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. While freedom of speech just doesn't exist, the opportunities for playing music is quite fantastic and so is the talent.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Girl doing her embrodery at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Calligraphy is rightly regarded as an exquisite art; here at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

More calligraphy at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

An incredibly talented kids performance at The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The appauding audience, standing up in uniforms and obviously preparing for the 117th Party Congress in 2057! The Childrens Palace; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Puhung Metro Station. The subway system of Pyongyang is surprisingly well-working; DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The mosaic of the end wall; Puhung Metro Station; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. Of course, The Great Leader is showing the way.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A subway train; Puhung Metro Station; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Charming control woman; Puhung Metro Station; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The inside of a subway train; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy train workers; the subway, Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The pompous Yongwan Metro Station; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

USS Pueblo, an elledged spy ship, caught by the North Koreans in 19968 and ever since shown off as an example of the innumerable wrong doings of the grim imperialists of USA; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The bridge of the USS Pueblo; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The charming military propaganda-teller trying to persuade the tourists that the USS Pueblo really was a spy ship. They really believe what they are told from above. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Downtown residential building of Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. Unlike any other big city, there are NO office buildings in Pyongyang. All decisions are made at the palace, anyway.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A very "dangerous" moped in the streets of Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea. According to the local Stasi, such photos are highly illegal, although nobody could tell me why - apart from the fact that it's just not "perfect". The Koreans love granite perfection.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A peek into the ladies hairdresser; health center, Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A local woman getting a permanent; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy kid in the water; public health center, Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

 

     

Dry and wet girls; public health center, Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The mosaic at the entrance of the "Museum of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War". Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Getting yet another dose of Communist propaganda at the "Museum of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War". Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Charming propaganda, but utterly stupid; the "Museum of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War". Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

From the "Museum of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War": The Great Leader Kim Il Sung showing his officers how to do things; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The Kim Il Sung statue in the hall of the Kim Il Sung Library. With 100,000 sq. meters and 30 mio. books, this is one of the largest (and one of the most propagandistic) libraries in the world. Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The photos of the "Dumpy Despot" and the "Toppy Tyrant" (Tony Wheeler) in the great hall of the Kim Il Sung Library;Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A modest photo of the Great Leader, somewhere downtown, Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Downtown Pyongyang doesn't suffer from any kind of traffic problems. There are hardly any cars, and certainly no traffic lights, so all the regulation is done by white-clad police woman waving their arms in a very military fashion. DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local tram; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local girls shopping fridge magnets and other indespensibles; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Line dancers of a local circus; Pyongyang. Note the two helpers below - the replacement security net. DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Towing boat on the Taedong River; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cooking for the tourists; Pyongyang, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Almost East German tea hous somewhere in between Pyongyang and Kaesong; DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

DPRK / North Korea must be the love of any traffic planner: No traffic at all, and plenty of wide roads to move around. Taken from the tea house in between Pyongyang and Kaesong.  Claus Qvist Jessen

North Korean stoneage welding equipment; between Pyongyang and Kaesong.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Typical Kaesong house; DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Street propaganda; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea. The whole country is full of such bullshit.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Shy girls; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Traditional Korean food: Lots of small dishes with various "things"; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Ginseng seller; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Souvenir shop, obviously focusing on the true teachings of the Great and Dear Leaders; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The tomb of Queen of King Kongmin, a 14th Century local ruler; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Statues at the tomb King Kongmin, a 14th Century local ruler; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

     

Two boys and their mother, close to the tomb of King Kongmin; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The entry to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ); Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local farmers working the 2 km land on the Northern side of the Demilitarized Zone; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A view over the Demilitarized Zone; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Our one-day guide, a happy and very friendly colonel at the Demilitarized Zone; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

One of several important rooms in which declarations were signed sealed and delivered; here at the Demilitarized Zone; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea. The table to the left is the UN table, whereas the one to the right is the North Korean one.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A view on the border in between North and South Korea. The three blue buildings are UN, the four silver are North Korean, and the large one in the background is South Korean. The border runs left to right, across the middle of the seven buildings in the front.  Claus Qvist Jessen
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Inside the middle blue building. the border runs across the table from left to right! Demilitarized Zone; Kaesong, DPRK / North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cheers! Local beer of North Korea - cheap and good.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Rice fields close to Nampo, south-western North Korea. Shooting photos like this is highly unpopular among the North Korean Stasis.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Sweetcorn (maiz) and barley fields close to Nampo, south-western North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cooperative housing close to Nampo, south-western North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Working the rice fields close to Nampo, south-western North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Going home along the rice fields; south-western North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The 8 km Nampo Barrage, separating the Yellow Sea (right, invisible) from the delta of the Taedong River (left); Nampo, south-western North Korea. The stuff in the background is the locks.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A part of the 8 km Nampo Barrage, separating the Yellow Sea (left) from the delta of the Taedong River (right); Nampo, south-western North Korea. The stuff in the background is the locks.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The monument at the Nampo Barrage; Nampo, south-western North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Another happy Great Leader in charge of a bunch of grateful kids; Nampo Orphanage, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Small kids in a kindergarten / orphanage from Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy dancing, though quite militant, at a kindergarten / orphanage from Nampo, North Korea / DPRK. the girls are triplets and have been placed at the orphanage since their parents were "overburdened".  Claus Qvist Jessen

     

More performing at the kindergarten / orphanage; Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Even more performing at the kindergarten / orphanage; Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Curious girl at the kindergarten / orphanage; Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

More curious girls at the kindergarten / orphanage; Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Annette showing the kids their own photos at the kindergarten / orphanage; Nampo, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

After the rains: The mighty Hotel Hyangsan; close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Part of the 1042 Pohyon Buddhist Temple close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

At the entrance of the Pohyon Buddhist Temple (1042), close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Buddhas on parade; Pohyon Buddhist Temple close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Buddha from one of the smaller temples; Pohyon Temple close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Roof painting; Pohyon Buddhist Temple close to Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Buddhst monk; Pohyon Buddhist Temple; North Korea / DPRK. For the time being, 20 monks reside in the temple.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The countryside 200 kms north of Pyongyang. These photos are strictly discouraged - tourists are not supposed to take photos of "normal things"; North Korea / DPRK.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cooperative housing; between Pyongyang and the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local station between Pyongyang and the Chinese border. Such photos are actually illegal! North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Station workers filling sacks of cement; between Pyongyang and the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local bus; between Pyongyang and the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy people on a truck; between Pyongyang and the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Bullock cart = slow transport; between Pyongyang and the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local houses of the town of Sinuijuclose to the Chinese border; North Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen
 

 

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