Τρίτη, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2017

The Sun: INSIDE THE SECRET STATE



Baker Neal, “North Korea laid bare as amazing photographs explained by defectors lift the lid on the brutal dictatorship”, The Sun, 7th January 2017

Snaps show desperate conditions and level of government interference in Kim Jong Un's hermit kingdom. STUNNING photos have revealed what life is really like inside North Korea. Explained by defectors who fled the hermit dictatorship, they lay bare the monotony and uniformity of everyday life under the iron rule of Kim Jong Un.
Relatively well-off citizens in the capital Pyongyang still huddle together in raggedy clothes as they wait for a bus.
Relatively well-off citizens in the capital Pyongyang still huddle together in raggedy clothes as they wait for a bus

Half-empty boulevards, entire districts in blackout to power tourist-friendly areas and imposing architecture symbolising authoritarian rule are all on display in the amazing collection passed exclusively to The Sun.

But it’s only by looking through the eyes of those who have lived there that the images really come to life, as all attempts at gloss and glamour are washed away to reveal a harsh reality.
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Taken by Chris Petersen-Clausen, who went on a strictly guided tour of the capital Pyongyang, the pictures have been shown to former residents to see what they can reveal about their hometown.

They include Han Song Chol and Kim Jun Hyok, who both left the city in 2014 for South Korea.

There is also Kang Jimin, a UK-based journalist who left North Korea in 2005 and Fyodor Tertitskiy, a Russian North Korean studies researcher, currently completing a PhD in Seoul, South Korea.

Pyongyang’s recently modernized Sunan airport, where the majority of foreigners arrive, “is likely to be one of the few things in North Korea which would not require renovation in case of unification,” says Tertitskiy, a Russian North Korea watcher.

“The previous airport was very old, so it took a lot of time to board the plane or to go through customs inspection,” Han Song Chol adds.


“Looks like these girls are in a North Korean varsity sports team,” says Han Song Chol.

“They are training with sneakers instead of proper training shoes.

“My cousin used to train in the 425 soccer school, and they have to pay for their own training shoes as cleats run around 100 USD.

“Members usually buy cheaper sneakers but they don’t last long as the quality is not that great.

“There was once a time when DPRK female soccer players used to rock in the Asian region,” adds Kang Jimin.

“As seen in the photo, they have no choice but to train on the asphalt or dirt schoolyards like that instead of in a proper lawn.”

Ryomyong Street Tower of Eternal Life

“This tower is at the entrance of Kumsung Street, and is the only arc Eternal Tower in the North,” says Kim Jun Hyok.

“They are changing the slogans on the side while remodeling it as well.”

“The inscriptions on such towers usually read: ‘Great comrade Kim Il Sung and great comrade Kim Jong Il are always with us!'” says Tertitskiy.

This particular model stands at the beginning of Ryomyong Street, where North Korean soldiers are currently working to refurbish and build over 3,000 new apartments by the end of the year.

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