Tag Archives: North Korea

Secret Photos From Inside North Korea Show Life In The World’s Most Isolated Country

German photographer Julia Leeb hid the fact that she was a journalist when she traveled to North Korea, and ended up with a stunning collection of photos. 

For travelers visiting North Korea, taking the wrong photo can be a punishable offense. Guides stay close to tourists, letting them know when it’s okay to snap the shutter, and North Korean citizens are supposed to report any photography they see. Professional photojournalists are rarely allowed to enter the country.

Despite the danger, two years ago, German photographer Julia Leeb flew to North Korea. She hid the fact that she was a journalist, and ended up with a stunning collection of photos. Her new book, North Korea: Anonymous Country, will come out this week.

Leeb was drawn to North Korea out of deep curiosity. “What do we know about this profoundly isolated country?” she says. “International headlines report about military parades and the ‘great marshal,’ but what about the 24 million inhabitants?”

She spent a week traveling the entire country, documenting celebrations for the 100th birthday of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather Kim Il Sung, giant synchronized dances, nearly empty streets, and oddities like a children’s museum featuring a nuclear missile.

While she traveled, accompanied by two friends and the rest of a tour group, she was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. “We had no television, no phone line, no Internet, and there were almost no other foreigners,” she says. “Most of the time we were the only guests in a hotel, sometimes the only foreigners in an entire city.”

Just before the trip began, North Korea announced they were dissolving their armistice with South Korea, and the U.S. started gearing up for a potential war. But Leeb had no idea what was happening. She also didn’t know what might happen when the group’s passports were taken away after she took photos out of a bus–and she couldn’t talk about the situation with anybody else.

“We were monitored constantly, we were quite sure that our rooms were bugged, so we did not communicate our concerns within the group,” she says. “After they confiscated our passports everybody had to deal alone with these ‘what-if’ moments.”

In the end, nothing went wrong. After an evening of bowling and North Korean beer and some cross-cultural bonding, the guides returned the passports, and eventually Leeb flew home to look through the hundreds of photos she’d taken and think about everything she’d seen.

“Traveling the ‘hermit kingdom’ is a constant surprise,” she says. “This communist dynasty is untouched by the outside world. The surreal cult of personality, North Koreas own calendar combined with the anachronistic architecture makes you feel like being in a parallel universe.”

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EXPOSE: More suspects involved in plot to kill Jong-nam?

KUALA LUMPUR: A frame-by-frame analysis of the video footage captured by klia2’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the minutes before and after the attack on Kim Jong-nam on the morning of Feb 13 have unearthed startling new revelations.

The seven wanted North Koreans — masterminds behind the assassination of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — had technically “surrounded” their target to ensure that the mission to liquidate him was followed through.

Képtalálat a következőre: „Ri Ji -hyon, Hong Song-hac,”

This damning analysis of CCTV footage, sourced from the public domain, has also revealed the possible involvement of another North Korean — possibly the ninth suspect.

The New Straits Times’ Special Probes Team learnt that this man is believed to be one Chang Nam-un, who is in his mid-30s. He is believed to have played a significant role in the murder plot.

He entered the frame as soon as Jong-nam began making his way to the self check-in counter, where the latter was eventually attacked by two women, who have since been charged with his murder.

Continue reading EXPOSE: More suspects involved in plot to kill Jong-nam?

China’s Premier on N. Korea: ‘No one wants to see chaos on his doorstep’

China’s second highest-ranking official used his once-yearly press conference to underline the importance of good relations with the US.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed North Korea, the South China Sea and trade in a highly orchestrated and scripted ceremony in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Conflict on the Korean peninsula “would only bring harm to all parties involved,” Li said, ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to the region which starts Wednesday.

“We hope that all parties can work together (to reduce tensions)” he added. “It’s just common sense that no one wants to see chaos on his doorstep.”

China is a key ally of North Korea, and has long called for more dialogue between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington. Last week, Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for North Korea to suspend its nuclear weapons program and warned that “the two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other.”

Continue reading China’s Premier on N. Korea: ‘No one wants to see chaos on his doorstep’

11 Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 11 Malaysians are stranded in Pyongyang, North Korea, says Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

This came after Pyongyang banned all Malaysian citizens from leaving North Korea, potentially holding them hostage amid an increasingly heated diplomatic row over the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2) on Feb 13.

Continue reading 11 Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang

Kim Jong-nam killing: Suspect ‘was paid $90 for baby oil prank’

An Indonesian woman arrested for the murder of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader has said she was given 400 Malaysian ringgits ($90; £72) to carry out a prank.

Indonesian embassy officials met Siti Aisyah, 25, on Saturday in the Malaysian capital.

She said she was given the cash to smear Kim Jong-nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show joke.

Continue reading Kim Jong-nam killing: Suspect ‘was paid $90 for baby oil prank’

North Korea Moved Some Of Its Most Advanced Weaponry To The Chinese Border In A Sign Of Rising Tensions

In a sign of the continuing decline in relations between North Korea and China, Pyongyang moved a number of tanks and armored vehicles away from South Korea to the Chinese border, according to The Chosun Ilbo, citing an anonymous source. 

Continue reading North Korea Moved Some Of Its Most Advanced Weaponry To The Chinese Border In A Sign Of Rising Tensions

North Korea will face ‘overwhelming response’ if it uses nuclear weapons, warns US defence chief James Mattis

Kim Jong-un had warned in January that Pyongyang would carry out a long-range missile test in the near future.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned North Korea on Friday (3 February) that Pyongyang would face an “effective and overwhelming” response if it used its nuclear weapons.

Continue reading North Korea will face ‘overwhelming response’ if it uses nuclear weapons, warns US defence chief James Mattis

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