Today many people complain about poverty, the denial of rights, and the fact that an individual is worthless. Many complain about greedy politicians and businessmen and the lack of prospects.
Yes, capitalism is unfair and democracy is imperfect. However, when you look at the way North Korea and similar countries live, you realize that capitalism and democracy are not so bad.
I would have visited North Korea several times. And every time I was surprised at how people live here in general. This country is just a perfect demonstration of Orwell’s utopia (described in the book “1984”). And when I realize that, it makes me really scared.
There is strict censorship in this country. The pictures I’m going to show you were preserved only just by chance (because the DPRK security services asked me to delete these pictures, but did not realize that they remained in “deleted” on a flash drive).
The Girl in Pink. The author of the photo here and below is Eric Lafforgue.
I don’t know why the DPRK secret services didn’t like this photo. Probably because I was taking pictures of the military. Actually, I was taking a picture of a girl. I should also add that there are a lot of military personnel in this country; they are literally on every street.
This picture was also censored. Here, though, it’s just an old man picking grass. For what? He’s probably starving, or maybe he doesn’t have enough medicine.
This photo was also demanded to delete. But what’s wrong with it? The soldier is engaged in peaceful work, perhaps he is building something on a farm or at the general’s country house. Perhaps the military thought it would show them in a bad light (a DPRK soldier should always be on duty!).
This photo was not made to be deleted because Korean girls are holding hands (although same-sex marriage is forbidden in North Korea). It’s just that the photo shows a tunnel in the subway, which is a strategic facility and can be used as a bomb shelter in case of emergency.
This, too, is a forbidden picture. You can shoot dolphins, but not Korean soldiers! This is a military secret.
Sleeping is apparently forbidden in Korea as well. In fact, the border guards did not like the fact that this was an official who could be portrayed in the Western media as a bum.
This photo was asked to be removed because it showed a queue for public transportation. Yes, there is such a thing in North Korea!
In this country, it is forbidden to photograph the statue of the leader from the back (well below the back), as it is considered an insult to the ruler and the entire Korean people.
In North Korea, you can’t just take pictures of people on the street (especially if they are dressed poorly and unkempt).
What do you think the border guards didn’t like about this picture? It’s that the children are looking at the escalator for the first time in their lives! The people in North Korea are very poor and live mostly in villages where there are no shopping malls that we are used to.
Why was I asked to remove this photo? Because children work here in the field.
What didn’t the border guards like here? It’s not clear. Probably because people go out on the streets and trade to feed themselves.
This photo was also “asked” to be deleted. What is the reason? These rugs and clothes are drying in a public place and damaging the prestige of the leader (the monument in the background).
In order for you to understand why this country is so afraid to reveal its secrets, here are a few facts about North Korea:
- Per capita GDP in North Korea is 100 times lower than that of the United States and the country’s GDP is only 2.5% of South Korea’s. People in DPRK live on less than $2 a day, many are deprived of the basic amenities of civilization and do not get enough food;
- Censorship and propaganda are everywhere in this country. To give you an idea of the scale: North Koreans consider themselves winners of the FIFA World Cup and many other world competitions. Every citizen believes that the Koreans won the 2014 FIFA World Cup by beating Brazil 8-1 in the final. After all, that’s what they said on TV!;
- Every North Korean household and business is equipped with a government-controlled radio that cannot be turned off, it can be turned down;
- This country has legislated a six-day work week and another day for forced “volunteer” work;
- Idolatry in North Korea is such that a portrait of Kim Jong Il is the second thing ordinary citizens should save in case of fire after themselves;
- In North Korea, schoolchildren have to pay for their own desks and chairs. This is done, of course, by the parents;
- Most of the country’s infrastructure was built by prisoners. According to the most conservative estimates, 250,000 people work in DPRK labor camps every day. And these are not some hardened criminals: person can get into a labor camp for anything from a bad joke to a too free haircut. I even rumor that the DPRK Olympic team was sent there for their recent failure at the last Olympics;
- In this country you can be punished by firing squad for fleeing the country and pornography;
- To live in the capital (Pyongyang), a Korean needs a personal permit from the government;
- In North Korea the principle of “punishment for 3 generations” is in force. That is, both sons and grandchildren are responsible for the sins of the father;
- It is illegal to have a Bible in North Korea;
- Jeans are strictly prohibited here (both for sale and for wearing);
- You won’t find dogs on the streets of Korean cities. That’s because here people eat them!;
- This country has its own basketball rules;
- Nothern Korean cars are fueled with wood. There is an acute shortage of gasoline and petroleum products in this country. Cars here run on “wood gas”. It’s carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas, which is made from wood or coal;
- It’s 109 year in North Korea instead of 2021 right now. This country does not have the same calendar as the rest of the world. It begins with the date of birth of their dear revolutionary leader, Kim Il Sung: April 15, 1912;
- In every election of government, a Korean has only 1 option: the current leader and his party.
And this list is far from complete. But this is enough to make North Korea the most anti-motivating place in the world.
Still have doubts? Let’s go back to the pictures.
Sleeping soldiers cannot be photographed here! Because such pictures represent the Korean army as undisciplined.
This, too, is a forbidden picture. I was asked what I was photographing here. I answered that I liked the engineering in one of the village houses. They didn’t believe me (and rightly so).
This citizen decided to take a bath in the river for some reason. We do not know the exact reasons for this motivation (maybe he is homeless or there is no water in his apartment), but such a photo was not allowed at the border.
This picture was also on the list of banned. Child labor is prohibited de jure in North Korea, but de facto it is used everywhere.
I took this picture at the hairdresser’s. I did not find out the reason for its removal until later, when I returned home and opened the Internet (it is forbidden in North Korea). It turns out that only 10 types of men’s haircuts are allowed in North Korea, and all of them are in this photo. The government is more lenient towards women and allows them to choose from 18 hairstyles.
This picture was banned because a government building was in the frame. By the way, this is one of the central districts of the DPRK capital. Notice how deserted and there are no cars at all. In fact, there are very few cars in this country (residents can’t afford them), mostly everyone moves on foot, on bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds.
This picture, too, was banned for some reason. Probably because it shows the scarcity of food in the stores of this country: the shelves are full of the same things.
And this picture I took at the train station. The border guards didn’t like something here either. Well, it’s not my fault they skimp on benches in their own country.
Posters with leaders are not allowed to be photographed here. What do you think of this propaganda?
By the way, propaganda is everywhere in the streets of Pyongyang. This is what capital city looks like during the day:
And this is what it looks like at night. The houses are dark at night, but the poster is illuminated!
That will be all, friends. I will finish this review with one last photo, but not my own, taken from the satellite. Below you can see what North Korea looks like from orbit.
In this satellite photo, North Korea looks like a dark spot in a sea of lights. And no wonder: according to the authorities, North Koreans don’t need electricity. Its absence helps to preserve the nature and makes human relations between people more humane.
It is not known whether Koreans think so themselves, but they have to put up with it. Only Pyongyang has more or less constant electricity. The rest have to do without it.
So, dear friends, we have no reason to complain about our lives. If you don’t live in North Korea, you have many more opportunities for self-realization. All you have to do is want it and take action!