Friday, November 22, 2013

Photos: Uncensored smartphone photos from North Korea

David Guttenfelder, the Associated Press Chief Photographer for Asia, took the following selection of images during a recent trip to North Korea.

A 3G network is now available in Pyongyang, so Guttenfelder was able to immediately upload the shots via his smartphone, before the police had a chance to censor them.

Visitors seen taking pictures are regularly stopped by police and asked to delete offending images.

The result was a unique and uncensored glimpse into modern life in the world's most reclusive state. 

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children rollerblading

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children in pioneer scarves playing with David's camera

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a soldier reading a text book at the Grand People's Study House

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A typical residential area in Pyongyang

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An evening view of the capital, with not a soul in sight, and no lights on in the windows. 

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Workers repairing a fence

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The Grand People's Study House. Could be a computer cluster anywhere in the world - except that there's clearly a lack of heating. 

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A synchronised swimming performance.

#2 Fred Holmes

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    Posted Yesterday, 05:08 PM
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    A bus - similar to those that still ply the roads of former Soviet countries.

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    An imaginatively-named shop.

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    A photo developing shop.

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    No advertising - but plenty of propaganda, in a style that apparently hasn't changed in well over half a century

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    A playground and some disturbingly deserted balconies with not a scrap of laundry in sight.

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    A park swing in the shape of the Unha-3 rocket

    #3 Fred Holmes

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      Posted Yesterday, 05:14 PM
      north-korea-instagram-22.jpg
      The Juche tower. Juche is the political philosophy thought up by Great Leader Kim Jong-il, on which the country's governance is supposed to be based.

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      Students at a concert. Similar pioneer scarves are still worn by school children in nominally communist (but de facto capitalist) Vietnam.

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      Newlyweds pose for a shot in front of a statue of the two Kims. 

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      Traditional folk-dancing

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      Commuters at a bus stop.

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      Veterans of the Korean War.

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      A Soviet-style trollybus being mended.

      #4 Fred Holmes

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        Posted Yesterday, 05:16 PM
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        A bus to the airport. It would seem there's only one suit factory in Pyongyang.

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        An Air Koryo flight to Beijing.