If there were some people left on the planet unaware of the horrible political climate in North Korea, it all changed once the news of the 22-year old American student who died after being detained by Kim Jong-Un for stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room circled the globe.
It left many people wanting to take a peak into this country’s reality, but sadly, apart from the staged theatrical show they put on for tourists when they visit Pyongyang not much digital material has surfaced of the most isolated country in the world.
However, the same year the American tourist was condemned to forced labor, photographer Michael Huniewicz and a number of other tourists miraculously managed to smuggle out into the ‘free world’ over 70 candid photos depicting the tragic reality of North Koreans.
Just by looking at this seemingly normal photo we doubt that anyone would suspect it was taken in one of the most oppressed countries in the world. The people seem to go about their ordinary lives just like in any other country in the world, but most of them have either been victims of or know someone who suffered abuse in the form of enslavement, imprisonment, forced abortions, and torture.
Michael recalls playing with fire when deciding to snap this photo of North Korea’s countryside showing villagers next to their bikes waiting for the train to pass. In spite of photography being encouraged in controlled conditions, it is absolutely prohibited to take photos of uniformed officers such as the one of the picture.