November 4, 2016

An Illegal Look Inside The Crazy World Of North Korea

24/7 Propaganda On The TV

247 propaganda on the tv

This waitress has to listen to the propaganda all day long while she works. The customers don’t get to escape from it either. Photographer Michael Huniewicz put his freedom on the line to get these photos from inside the North Korean world.

Crops By A Rundown Tower Block

crops by a rundown tower block

It’s like an abandoned community. But, the girls play by the crops that are growing very healthily. It’s an odd shot photographer Michael Huniewicz made a point to make.

A Deserted Entry Point

a deserted entry point

People are leaving. Not many people coming. Why would you? The shots Michael Huniewicz got while touring North Korea tell the sad story of a miserable world.

Basic Architecture

basic architecture

There is very little for North Korean’s to enjoy. Not even when they come home. These kinds of dwellings are all over the place and are just basic places to get some sleep and get mentally prepared for another day, if that’s possible.

Beat Up Truck Hauling Soldiers

beatup truck hauling soldiers

It’s not really a military type of vehicle. Emphasis seems low on taking care of their forces. Either that or it’s an eye opening revelation of the military budget.

Custom Declaration Form

custom declaration form

Coming into the country, photographer Michael Huniewicz had to declare his belongings. There are items that cannot be brought into the country. Some of those items include adult literature, cell phones, and cameras like the one photographer Michael Huniewicz smuggled in with him.

Commuting To Work And Not Happy

commuting to work and not happy

They look like they know photographer Michael Huniewicz is taking photos at a very high risk to his freedom. They just don’t seem to care. Probably too run down or too fed up to have any care in the world.

Get Around With Taxi

get around with taxi

Taxis are for locals. Tourists aren’t allowed to use them. In fact, tourists are given a guide who takes them everywhere and keeps a watchful eye over them the entire time they are there.

Guards In The Watchtowers

guards in watchtowers

Everywhere everyone goes, there is government control. Guards are watching what everyone does at all times, monitoring everyone’s movements, and restricting them at will.

Government Building In Pyongyang


How Michael Huniewicz got these shots is hard to tell. What camera did he use? Was he hiding it or were people just letting him take pictures and not worrying about the laws that govern them?

He’s Just Doing His Thing

hes just doing his thing

One man gets away with doing his business in a somewhat private place. Either, he’s drunk or has lost all will to care. Sometimes, a bathroom is just too far away.

Intercepted By The Guide

intercepted by the guides

Visiting North Korea is just not that great of a vacation. You get intercepted by a guide. He takes you everywhere, tells you when to eat and sleep, and is not allowed to let you out of his sight.

It’s Not Common For People To Have Cars

its not common for people to have cars

In a struggling economy, people walk if they can’t afford a bike. There aren’t a whole bunch of cars running around all over the streets. It’s quite ironic since there are actual streets all over the place.

Korea To The Left And China To The Right

korea left china right

Michael Huniewicz took a beautiful shot of the two countries facing each other. They definitely have different spirit. Just from the picture, it’s easy to see.

Locals Only Shop

locals only shop

Michael Huniewicz was kicked out of the shop because he wasn’t a local. Only locals can go shopping there. It must be about rations and they only have enough for themselves.

Riding The Bus

riding the bus

Public transportation is a good way to get around. Beats walking or biking if you need to go far. But, locals have to have a permit to travel about the country.

On The Statues

on the statues

There is a rule about taking photos of the statues, which are that both statues have to be in the shot. There are other customs that must be observed as well. But, Michael Huniewicz didn’t follow too many rules while he was there.

Soldiers In Conversation

soldiers in conversation

This is a risky photo. Not sure how far Michael Huniewicz was standing away from them when he took the photo, but that could have cost him his freedom. That is if the soldiers had cared to look over at him.

Soldier Supervises Cleanup

soldier supervises cleanup

They look like they’re doing a good job without supervision. But, soldiers are everywhere. They are a constant reminder of what type of dictatorship they live under.

State Workers Walking

state workers walking

These guys work for the government. They might be engineers or at least maintenance personnel. But, they are carrying their equipment and walking from location to location. Is this another revelation of the government’s lack of funding?

A Staged Train Station Picture

a staged train station picture

Photographer Michael Huniewicz noted that this train station photo was staged. Might be a publicity stunt to have people looking like they are traveling happy about the country. But, there were no more trains due that evening. No need for anyone to be there at all.

The Streets Of Korea

the streets of korea

Good shot of the daily life in North Korea. No cars. No heavy traffic. Just a nice shot of what routine life looks like.

The Capital Pyongyang

the capital city

While the rest of the country is either farmland or decapitated buildings, Pyongyang looks well kept. It must be highly maintained to impress the world while the rest of the country suffers in poverty.

They Need A Permit To Travel Around The Country

they need a permit to travel around the country

Locals can’t simply hop a bus and take off for a day in another town or across the country. They have to get a permit to travel. Just another way the government keeps track of its common folk.

Sino Korean Friendship Bridge

sino korean friendship bridge

This is a rare shot of something bright and aesthetically pleasing. Not much of that around in North Korea. Michael Huniewicz took the shot while he had a chance.

Uniforms And Public Service

uniforms and public service

The sidewalk already looks spotless. But, these girls are out there in their uniforms sweeping up the streets. They’re probably just looking like they’re busy or they’ll be given something else to do.

Waiting For The Train

waiting for the train

People waiting patiently. But, the guard in the picture tells another tale of how a constant reminder of dictatorship is never more than a few steps away.

Vast Farmland

vast farmland

The farmland is definitely vast. The people rely on it. They don’t get much imported from all over the world. They need the crops to survive.

Waiting To Sell Human Waste

waiting to sell human waste

Human waste gets turned into fertilizer. It’s great for farming. So, this is one way people can lower themselves to get paid and be able to afford stuff like food to make more waste.

With Both Statues This Time

with both statues this time

Michael Huniewicz notes how risky it is to shoot photos. His freedom could have been taken at any moment. All it would have taken is if anyone would have saw him. He would have been locked up and his guide might have even been tortured for “espionage.”

Detonating Today