He Took And Smuggled These Illegal Photos That Kim Doesn’t Want You To See Of North Korea

Michal Huniewicz is a photographer based in London, who visited North Korea from China last year and took these stunning images, most of them are illegal.

Unlike the polished photographs advertise by the state run news agency, Michal’s images gives a raw insight into a poverty-stricken country controlled by a dictator.

With the aid of a tour guide, which is one of the conditions of being allowed a visit. Along with a customs form which reveals what cannot be brought into the country. Even laptops were searched for the Hollywood film The Interview, a comedy about Kim Jong-un, which is banned in North Korea.


Michal risked detention so that you could get a more candid look into the most secretive country on the planet. He was told by his watchful tour guide that he took many photos. Too many.

But Michal managed to evade his tour guide before sneaking them out on hidden memory cards which was very stressful.

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


And it becomes even more apparent at night.

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge remains one of the last bright lights for tourists entering North Korea from Southeastern China


Authority: Military is present everywhere in Pyongyang


Watchful Eyes: Street cleaners sweep pavements for dust under the keen eye of a soldier in a Pyongyang park


The First Photo: Michal took in North Korea, which photography from this train is illegal


People waiting to sell human waste to be used as fertiliser


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


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


Propaganda: A waitress works in a restaurant in North Korea where images are broadcast on television around the clock


His group did not get to interact with the locals almost at all. Most waitresses seemed slightly terrified of them.

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


Rural: Locals watch and wait for a train to pass, providing Michal with a few seconds to snap this image of life in North Korea’s countryside


Entry point: Dandong station, one of the only entry points into North Korea for foreign tourists, was deserted when Michal was there


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


Pyongyang: Where they were intercepted by their guides, who they could not leave during the entire stay, and who’d tell them when to sleep and when to wake up


Brutalist architecture of Pyongyang


Cityscape: View from the Yanggakdo hotel


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


The door is almost always closed, but if you manage to get in, the place is full of propaganda posters, and people speculate it’s used for spying on the guests.

You are only allowed to photograph these statues if both bodies are featured in their entirety


That day, 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


The city is clear of rubbish and theres hardly any traffic, but they took their passports away and forbid them to go anywhere on their own…. in case they got in a car accident


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