We barely have any idea about the secretive country that North Korea is. Whether it’s the reports about its underground hydrogen bomb tests under Kim Jong-un’s leadership or the bizarre haircut law or the execution of its defence minister with an anti-aircraft gun, everything gets one thinking about the lifestyle of its citizens and how the country functions. Well, there’s no nice way to say this but to me it definitely seems like a reign of terror. 

While we kept wondering about the uptight country, Michal Huniewicz, a London-based photographer, on his trip to Pyongyangon, the capital city of North Korea, clicked some incredible pictures that take us through the streets of the mystery land and its people. As reported by the Telegraph, the photographer also revealed that tourists’ laptops also go through a security check for the Hollywood film The Interview, a comedy on Kim Jong-un, which is banned in North Korea. Despite risking detention, Michal managed to click and smuggle the amazing photographs for us.  

Here is the treasure trove of photographs from North Korea, with a firsthand account: 

*All corresponding text belongs to Michal Huniewicz

Authority – military is present everywhere in Pyongyang

The difference between North Korea (left) and China (right) is staggering

And it becomes even more apparent at night

You have several of these to fill in on your way in

First photo I took in North Korea. Photography from this train is illegal

People waiting to sell human waste to be used as fertiliser

“(The Korean Workers’) Party is never going to forget the comrades of Rakwon [city]”

North Koreans can only travel within the country when they receive a permit

North Korean soldiers


Arrival in Pyongyang. I believe this was staged, as there were no other trains that day, so those elegant looking travellers had no reason to be there

Pyongyang – we were intercepted by our guides, who we could not leave during the entire stay, and who’d tell us when to sleep and when to wake up

North Korean street photography

Brutalist architecture of Pyongyang

Cityscape from the Yanggakdo hotel

The hotel officially has no floor 5, and you can only reach it by stairs

We did not get to interact with the locals almost at all. Most waitresses seemed slightly terrified of us

Kim Il-Sung’s square. This is one of the places they want you to photograph

Those allowed to live in Pyongyang are privileged, and wear a badge that is impossible to buy (you can get a fake one in China)

You are only allowed to photograph these statues if both bodies are featured in their entirety. There was an endless stream of North Koreans bringing flowers and bowing

I had 15 seconds to take this picture. This shop is for the locals only, and I was kicked out of it by my guide soon after taking this photo, but he didn’t see me taking it

Some of the souvenirs you can buy

Women watched over by a soldier as they sweep clean the street

The city is clear of rubbish

There was hardly any traffic, but they took our passports away and forbid us to go anywhere on our own in case we participate in a car accident


The city was clean and elegant, but then I saw this

Socialist murals

Finally, people commuting to work

H/T: boredpanda.com

You can check more of Michal Huniewicz’s work here and here.