30+ rare photos show the many side of life inside North Korea

A courageous photographer risked arrest to sneak a series of breathtaking photographs of North Korea out of the country.

During a trip to the country, Michal Huniewicz took photos that he believed Kim Jong-un would not want you to see before smuggling them out on secret memory cards.

In contrast to the glossy pictures produced by the state-run news agency, Mr Huniewicz’s images provide an unvarnished look into a poverty-stricken society ruled by a tyrant.
He traveled to North Korea from China last year with a tour guide, which was one of the requirements for being permitted to visit.

Mr Huniewicz escaped his minder’s careful eye to capture these pictures, which provide a rare look into the daily lives of North Koreans.

Some are shown working in the fields, while others are seen in Pyongyang’s spotless capital.

In one photograph, street cleaners wash pavements in one of Pyongyang’s parks while a soldier looks on, while others show servers working in eateries where propaganda visuals are aired on television around the clock.

A picture of a customs document discloses what items are prohibited from entering the nation. Mr Huniewicz said that computers are being checked for the Hollywood film The Interview, a comedy about Kim Jong-un that is prohibited in North Korea.

Follow Michael Huniewicz on Twitter: @m_huniewicz

North Korea - the keen eye of a Pyongyang soldier
Watchful eye: Street cleaners sweep pavements for dust under the keen eye of a soldier in one of the parks in the capital city, Pyongyang


North Korea - Propaganda
Propaganda: A waitress works in a restaurant in North Korea where propaganda images are broadcast on television around the clock


North Korea -countryside
Rural: Locals watch and wait for a train to pass, providing Michal with a few seconds to snap this image of life in North Korea‘s countryside
North Korea Everyday life
Everyday life: A mother carrying a baby walks alongside other women and children in the streets in this picture taken by Michael Huniewicz


North Korea Risky
Risky: Michal captured the photos, including this one of North Koreans travelling in a bus, before smuggling them out of the country
North Korea workers
Unseen: Dressed in identical brown uniforms and matching yellow hard hats, North Korean workers carry their equipment on the main road


North Korea Checks
Checks: Michal took this photo of a customs declaration form revealing the items banned from being brought into the country. Laptops were searched for any controversial content, including Korean films, pornography, and even guidebooks


North Korea Entry point
Entry point: Dandong station, one of the only entry points into North Korea for foreign tourists, was deserted when Michal was there
North Korea Deceiving
Deceiving? A staged scene appeared to be playing out at Pyongyang’s main station, with passengers happily milling around despite an apparent lack of any other departing trains


North Korea realistic side to the city
While much of North Korea‘s main city seemed spotlessly clean, this photo reflects a more realistic side to the city life for many residents


North Korea soldiers