North Korea is one of the great mysteries of the world as we legitimately don’t really know much about what is going on in that country, aside from what Kim Jong-un lets us see and what daredevil photographers can smuggle out.
The last one of these is called Martin Von Den Driesch from Berlin, who visited North Korea on an eight day trip with his Korean wife back in August 2014. He’s currently trying to fund a kickstarter for a coffee table book featuring his pictures, but he’s kindly released a few of them ahead of time, which you can see on this page. It doesn’t look all that bad.
Here’s the blurb for his project too:
In August 2014, I was the only Western participant in an otherwise Russian-Korean group of 30 people who travelled by cars all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok, and from there into an 8-day-adventure being North Korea.
As a highlight, our group got permission on their last day in North Korea to cross the Demilitarised Zone and to travel directly from Pyongyang to Seoul – where we got a full Red Carpet treatment and were greeted by the prime minister.
Is North Korea a shining example for democracy? Definitely not, quite the opposite. Moving (or photographing) FREELY is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, as I had the impression that we were granted a bit more freedom on the trip (due to the “peace theme” of the whole trip) I wanted to focus on finding striking moments in everyday life.
Although restricted in shooting by the always-present government minders, I tried to snap whenever I felt unobserved. The result is a striking series of approx. 40 images, giving a glimpse on a country best described by Winston Churchill’s verdict on Russia: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
The book will include a few images which the border police asked me to delete (at the DMZ, between North and South Korea). However, I was able to regain them once we were in Seoul.
If you enjoyed this and would like to see some more strange pictures of North Korea, click here.