The following Instagram photos taken in North Korea by Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder show an unfamiliar side of the highly secretive and repressive country. The images are not only vibrant but have an element of human emotion that the rest of the world is not often shown.
Even then Guttenfelder presented a very positive and lighter view of the country where internet access is strictly controlled.
When Guttenfelder first traveled to the secret state in 2000 his phone was confiscated therefore he was unable to share any photographs. Also, he was only permitted to stay in a hotel room in which the windows were covered with black plastic.
“In a country known for its censorship, I’m now uploading photos to Instagram from the streets of North Korea like I would anywhere else in the world,” he told Wired.
“No one puts their hand in front of my camera, and no one tells me not to shoot things. There’s no review process. They don’t look at my pictures at all before I send them on the Associated Press wire or my Instagram account. Facebook even asks me to tag my “friends” Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung when I upload my photos.”
This comes as a surprise, especially since it was only in January that Google was finally able to map North Korea.
The recent thaw in North Korea’s attitude is welcoming and may be a sign of progress but it has also left people wondering, what’s the mystery behind North Korea’s sudden change of heart?