During the last few months, a different image of North Korea is coming forward - an image that the world wasn’t really used to associating with the last existing Stalinist state.
Where we only see propaganda videos coming out of North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un threatening to annihilate the world with a nuclear attack and issuing challenges to US, we now have something different to watch.
David Guttenfelder, chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, has presented a very positive and lighter view of the country where internet access is strictly controlled, through his Instagrams.
The following pictures of sceneries, students and kids playing around, give a very positive, life-like feel to North Korea. They were clicked from January to April 2013:
Description: A North Korean guide uses a pointer at the start of a tour of an historic site. On Jan. 18, 2013, foreigners were allowed for the first time to bring mobile phones into North Korea. And this week the local service provider, Koryolink, is allowing foreigners to access the Internet on a data capable 3G connection on our mobile phones. In the past I could post geolocated phone photos to my Instagram feed by turning my online laptop into a hotspot to link my iPhone or iPod touch by wifi. But, today I'm posting this directly from my phone while riding in the back of a van in #Pyongyang. The window on to North Korea has opened another crack. Meanwhile, for Koreans here who will not have access to the same service, the window remains shut.
Description: North Koreans students attend an English language study session. They were learning how the word "who" can stand in place of a noun. Like, The student WHO is studying English was born in #Pyongyang.
Description:North Korean babies rest in a row of cribs at the #Pyongyang Maternity Hospital.
Description: This little North Korean dude ,and his school buddies, were playing with one of my cameras this morning at Mansu Hill in #Pyongyang.
Description: This is a tourist-like view from a balcony at the Grand People's Study House. The high-rises, behind the mosaics of two Kim's, is the 3,000-unit Changjon Street apartment building complex that was completed last April. IPod touch photo from Jan. 9, 2013.
Description:#Pyongyang. Capital city street.
Description: A restaurant in the Hyangsan Hotel at the foot of Mt. Myohyang, North Korea. We're the only guests in this hotel.
Seeing such images coming out of North Korea definitely makes one feel that like any other country, people in North Korea also know how to live their lives normally and positively. The image their leader is promoting is not associated to the people living over there. They are just like everybody else in this world.
So, instead of this:
These pictures that reflect how life is in North Korea were of course much better to look at than the ones we often see. What do you think? Let us know with your comments.
For more pictures, please go to instagram.com/dguttenfelder