Facts and footage showing real life inside North Korea that they don’t want you to know. If it were Kim Jong-Un’s will, the North Korean propaganda photos would be the only ones the outside world would see.
But what happens when pictures of North Korea are taken by an independent cameraman?
French photographer Eric Lafforgue has visited North Korea six times and secretly taken illegal photos inside North Korea.
However, the regime discovered him sharing his photos and original footage online and banned him from crossing the border ever again. Which secrets of North Korea and Pyongyang did Eric reveal that led to him being so unwelcome?
If it were Kim Jong-Un’s will, these bizarre photos of North Korea are the only ones
the outside world
would see. Kim Jong-Un posing with children from the Orphanage.
Kim Jong-Un smiling to the
people at farms and factories. Even Kim Jong-Un
‘climbing’ a nearly nine thousand foot high
mountain! With his spotless leather shoes.
Keep watching to find out another of Kim’s failures, that
will prove that he didn’t actually climb that mountain.
What happens when pictures of North Korea are taken by an independent cameraman?
French photographer Eric Lafforgue has visited North Korea 6 times, and captured a great number of scenes.
However, the regime discovered him sharing secretly taken photos online and banned him from crossing its border ever again.
Which secrets of North Korea did Eric reveal, that led him to become so unwelcome?
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In this video you will see illegal photos of North Korea that Kim Jong-Un doesn’t want you to see.
A woman standing in the middle of a crowd of soldiers.
This is one of the most beautiful pictures that Eric Lafforgue managed to smuggle out from North Korea.
It is illegal, because you are not allowed to take photos of the army in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
You are not permitted to take photos of soldiers helping out on local farms either.
“This man was having a rest on the rocks by the sea in Chilbo.
My guide asked me to delete this for
fear that Western media could say that this man was dead.
He was alive,” Eric claims.
“This official was dozing off on a bench in a Christian church.
You must never show the officials in a
“Paranoia is very strong in North Korean minds.
I took this picture at a fun fair, of a tired mother and
child resting on a bench. I
I was asked to delete the picture
since the guides were certain I would have
said those people were homeless,” says the photographer.
“The way you dress is very important in North Korea.
In town, you’ll never find anybody dressed
The officials took issue with this photo for two reasons.
The teen has his cap worn in a strange way
and there are soldiers in the back.
“It is forbidden to take pictures of the daily life of the North Korean people if they are not well dressed.
For my guide this man was not well dressed enough to be photographed,” says Eric.
There are many restrictions that apply to you in this country.
In order to maintain his dictatorship, the nation’s leader has his own set of rules.
One of those rules allows talking only with North Korean guides or translators,
which you get during the
entire length of your stay in North Korea.
Perhaps to avoid these kind of the embarrassing situations:
Pause for a minute.
If you had a possibility to talk to the Korean girl, what would you ask?
One of the most frequent questions on the internet is –
But it is strictly limited for its citizens.
“When you visit families, the guides love it if you take pics to show the world that kids have computers.
But when they see there is no electricity,
then they ask you to delete!” says the French
The electricity problem is very well illustrated by a satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night.
South Korea is shining bright, while North Korea is in complete darkness,
except for a tiny dot of light in Pyongyang.
This photo was taken in the art center of Pyongyang.
It is illegal as well, as it proves a power outage, a
daily event that North Koreans hate to show to outsiders.
“When it happens, they tell you it’s because
of the American embargo,” Eric added.
If you decide to visit the museum in North Korea one day, we strongly recommend that you take a flashlight.
Night vision goggles would be even better!
This photo, taken near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, is illegal
because you are not free to go wherever you please in North Korea, and photography is strictly limited.
“When you sleep near the Korean Demilitarized zone, you are locked in a hotel complex composed of old houses.
It allows the guides to say ‘Why do you want to go outside? It’s the same as in the hotel.’
No, it is not,” explains Eric.
“Taking pictures in the demilitarized zone is easy,
but if you come too close to the soldiers, they stop
you,” recalls the French photographer.
This photo was taken in Pyongyang’s subway system.
“Someone saw me taking this picture and told
me to delete it since it included the tunnel,” Eric recalls.
There are many conspiracy theories related to the mysterious Pyongyang metro system.
It is the deepest subway system in the world, at 360 feet under.
Due to the depth and the lack of outside segments, its
stations can double as a nuclear bunker.
One of the theories says that there is no underground network at all. And that the commuters are simply actors,
who exit the metro only to turn right back around and go for another ride.
And that each and every scene is carefully set!
The truth is that before 2010, tourists were only allowed to travel between these two stations,
sparking a conspiracy theory that the Pyongyang metro is merely two stations in total!
However, here we can see that is not true.
Eric said there were 17 stations on two lines.
The trains are from West Germany and have the ability to play music.
While you are trying to guess the composer, let’s have a look to the two portraits above the door.
they are former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.
The grandfather and the father of the present
And yes, the Pyongyang metro was really playing Figaro’s aria from Rossini’s ‘The barber of Seville’.
At least, we now know that classical music is not prohibited in North Korea.
The cult of personality is very strong in North Korea.
Its citizens have been honoring the Kim family
The country is famous for its huge statues of supreme leaders.
There are 34 thousand statues of Kim Il-Sung in North Korea.
“It is absolutely forbidden to take a picture of the Kim statues from the back.
It is considered very
rude,” said Eric.
The taking of the picture with those carpets was also forbidden,
since there was a Kim-Il Sung statue in the background.
Many defectors have stated that there are penalties for those who criticize or do not show proper respect for the regime.
Proper respect can include wearing a badge with supreme leader’s face as a
mark of loyalty, as shown in this picture.
However, this photo was not supposed to ever have been taken either,
as it shows one of the biggest
taboos in North Korea.
“It is forbidden to photograph malnutrition,” says Eric when explaining why this pic is illegal.
Hunger remains a way of life in North Korea.
28 percent of children under 5 years old have stunted growth.
Due to widespread malnutrition, North Koreans are between 1.2 and 3.1 inches shorter than their South Korean cousins.
The fact that North Korea cannot feed its own people on is not new.
Approximately a million North Koreans died of starvation in the famine that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
“I went to Chongjin, a city in the north that suffered a lot from hunger a few years ago.
My camera was confiscated for the duration of the bus trip.
Once at the hotel, I understood why
when I saw the
people in the street,” added Eric.
The Dictator’s dynasty holds one of the worst human rights records in the world.
Despite recent improvements in the nation’s food-production capacity,
frequent natural disasters such as floods and
droughts still cause severe food shortages.
“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,” Eric explains.
This pic showing a bathroom used as a cistern shows that times are hard here.
“Showing poverty is forbidden, but displaying wealth is also a big taboo in North Korea.
In a park on a Sunday afternoon, I
found this car that belongs to one of Pyongyang’s elite.
The owners were having a barbecue,” says
North Korea likes Mercedes.
Thirty years ago they decided to make their own version of the 190E.
A few real Mercedes 190E’s were shipped to Pyongyang,
where they were immediately reverse-engineered
The North Koreans however did a terrible job in replicating the German car.
Only a few prototypes were made.
Unfortunately, dust was entering into the vehicle while driving,
and the cabin didn’t have heating or cooling.
It appears that Kim Jong-Un prefers a Sport Utility Vehicle to the Korean Mercedes.
This car was accidentally captured in the video of Kim Jong-un after he had ‘climbed’ a mountain.
It seems like the most reasonable answer as to why his spotless leather shoes stayed so clean after a
nine thousand foot climb, doesn’t it?
Why do people choose to live in such horrible conditions?
Why don’t they run?
Perhaps you were
thinking of those, or similar questions.
Don’t they dream?
Remember the young lady? Here is her
Do you believe that her answer was honest?
Or did she say this because she was afraid?
You can believe whatever you want.
If you have watched this, it means that you have access to the internet.
You can push the like button, you can share your ideas and spread your beliefs.
Because you have a choice. There are people out there who don’t.
25 million people in fact.
They are told what to believe,
how to behave
and to keep silent.
However there is nobody who can forbid a person’s power to dream, to feel and to be human.
What do you think?
Tell us in the comments section below.