Inside North Korea: Everyday life in the secretive state/Bên trong đời sống của quốc gia bí mật Bắc Triều Tiên(quân chủ độc tài nguỵ trang XHCN)

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Colorful new photos show work and leisure in the Hermit Kingdom.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

North Koreans bow as they pay their respects to the Mansudae Grand Monument, huge statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, in Pyongyang, North Korea. CARL COURT/GETTY

Despite ongoing international negotiations aimed at easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) remains the most isolated and secretive nation on Earth.

Since its formation in 1948 the country has been led by the Kim dynasty, a three-generation lineage of North Korean leadership descended from the country’s first leader, Kim Il-sung followed by Kim Jong-il and grandson and current leader, Kim Jong-un.

Although major hostilities ceased with the signing of the Armistice in 1953, the two Koreas have remained technically at war and the demilitarised zone along the border continues to be the most fortified border in the world.

Access for foreign journalists remains restricted, and it’s difficult to fully understand life in the country which has long been nicknamed the Hermit Kingdom.

In 2011, journalist Isaac Stone Fish wrote in The New York Times that North Korea is “an information black hole,” describing a thwarted attempt to investigate drug use in the secretive state. “After months of research I have to admit that I have no idea what is actually happening inside North Korea,” he wrote.

Despite some high profile press stunts, such as the recent closure of a nuclear facility, journalists remain on a tight leash. In their 2018 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders listed it as having the least amount of freedom for journalists in the world.

However, stunning new images show that normal life continues at least in some parts of North Korea. As no journalists are allowed free movement within the country, this is likely to be a highly curated view of the People’s Republic.

The photos show the familiar activities of women at work inside factories, children learning from textbooks in schools, and families playing in swimming pools.

Only the candy-colored, pop-futurist architecture—as well as the omnipresent figures of the past and current Dear Leaders which loom in the background—set it apart from the rest of the world.

Although they are far from the full picture of what is happening in North Korea, these images give us a glimpse into its secretive world.

Women work in the Kim Jong Suk Silk Factory in Pyongyang.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

A women operates a machine in the Kim Jong Suk Silk Factory.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Visitors look out from the viewing platform of the 170-meter tall Juche Tower as rehearsals are undertaken to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country, in Pyongyang.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Apartment blocks are pictured from the viewing platform of the Juche Tower.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Children stand outside a nursery at Chonsam Cooperative Farm in Wonsan.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

A North Korean soldier stands guard on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) in Kaesong.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Children talk in the center circle after taking part in a game of soccer at Songdowon International School Children’s Camp on in Wonsan.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Children gesture and shout at the instruction of a teacher at Gyongsang Kindergarten in Pyongyang.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Employees’ babies sleep in the nursery at the Kim Jong Suk Silk Factory.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

Employees’ children take part in a music and dance lesson at a kindergarten in the Kim Jong Suk Silk Factory.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

A food preparation guide is displayed on the wall of a staff cooking area in accommodation quarters at the Kim Jong Suk Silk Factory.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

A woman feeds a hippopotamus at Pyongyang Central Zoo.CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

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