North Korea’s forbidden photos that Kim Jong-un would like to delete from the Internet

09/10/2017 - 3:05 619 Views

1 rodman_thumbNorth Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world: under the Kim Jong-un iron fist the Korean people are not having a good time, in many cases getting down to a close-to-starvation level.

This series of photos shows all the darker and more controversial sides of North Korea and how the government hides reality through manipulation and propaganda. The following images have been “smuggled” from North Korea, often under danger of arrest and imprisonment.

Human feces

2 feci umaneTwo men wait near the tracks. They’re trying to sell a human feces container, used as fertilizer. Poverty is so high that other types of fertilizer are often too expensive, so they also have to tend to waste of human origin, which can often lead to illnesses.

Rare portrait of father and son, and their passion for Disney

3 kim mickey mouseA rare picture of Kim Jong-il and his young son (the current dictator, Kim Jong-un). Paradoxically, the family is obsessed with western culture, though it is virtually inaccessible to the population. In this photo you can see the young Kim with a “Mickey Mouse” cap, a classic Disney symbol.

Customs declaration

4 dichiarazione doganaA typical customs declaration form in North Korea, what’s strange? Strictly forbidden are: computers, movies, guides, and any material that could, even remotely, be “allusively” pornographic. Obviously these are not the only prohibited things…

Public transport

5 mezzi di trasportoIl paese è cosi povero, che i bambini (e non solo) devono viaggiare tutti ammassati su vecchi veicoli militari per raggiungere la scuola. Questo mezzo di trasporto si rivela molto scomodo ma sopratutto pericoloso..

“Propaganda machine”

6 autobus vuotoThis is instead a “staged” photo by the regime propaganda. Usually the means of transport are more similar to the previous one, or in any case the buses only drive when they are completely full.

7 kim come dioAnother photo produced by regime propaganda. The dictator must be seen as a god fallen on earth, loved and worshiped by all.

8 militariTwo North Korean soldiers. Why would Kim Jong-un not want to see this picture on the internet? Simple, in North Korea taking a picture to the military is strictly forbidden, in any situation. The photographer in this case risked ending up with life imprisonment.

9 donne militariServing North Korea is a both male and female task. For this reason, women are not exempt from military service. Actually, since a few years there is a compulsory miltary education period for girls aged 17 to 20 and it lasts about seven years.

10 banda musicaleA shot showing the miltary band’s parade in honor of Kim Jong-un. Those who do not militate in the army are automatically forced into the band.


11 taxiTaxis are very few, and locals can not afford it. Even for the few tourists, it is very difficult to take a taxi, as they won’t be accepted unless accompanied by a private guide. Some people say that this photo is also a way to look more like western countries, as taxi service is virtually inaccessible.


12 indondazioniFloods and overflowings are not so rare, and they often knock many areas of the country and leave them stranded.

Father and grandparents

13 nonni kim + papàA rare photo of the father, along with grandmother and grandfather, of the current dictator. It-s surprising to see them so thoughtless and with similey faces, different from Kim Jong-un’s usual expressions.

Propaganda TV

14 tv propagandaAll programs on TV are strictly controlled by the government, so basically the government is the only broadcaster. Propaganda is transmitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most people in North Korea don-t even know what’s happening in the rest of the world…


15 lavoratori baseNine workers, dressed in the same way, carry an unidentified wooden object. In the absence of funds, the state cannot afford machinery and therefore there is a great need for manpower, even for relatively easy tasks.

The love for beer

16 birraBeer is very much loved in North Korea, and there are some beer bars, in the style of german “beer gardens”. Another strange phenomenon, if you think of the usual rejection towards (almost) every form of Western culture… But the power of alcohol is usually stronger than everything…

The wife

17 moglie kim jong unKim Jong-un’s marriage was decided by his father just before his death in 2008. There was a private ceremony in 2009 to celebrate the rite.

Typical construction

18 ecomostriHomes and palaces are almost all identical, very gray and dull. There is no room for creativity or shining colors. Everything is uniformed.

Government buildings

19 palazzi governativiEven the government buildings maintain the same style, but with a difference: they always contain a representation of the country’s leaders, in particular Kim Jong-un’s grandfather and father.

“Unwanted guests”

20 visitatore con guida sempreAny foreign visitors must be accompanied by “guides” throughout their stay. They tell you when and where to sleep, where to go and above all what can be photographed and what can’t..

21 stazione entrata stranieriThis seems to be the point of entry for foreigners in North Korea and, as you can see from now on, is deserted. In fact, the government allows very few visitors and for this reason, this station is almost unheard of.

More propaganda

22 more propagandaMilitary propaganda is everywhere, it can be found everywhere in the city.

Nuclear propaganda

23 propagandhi nucleareMore propaganda photos, these are to convince the Korean people of the power of their country. Nuclear symbols on nuclear handbags are certainly fictitious, purely symbolic and propagandistic.

Kim il-Sung and Kim Jong-il

23 kim il jong kimfiglio bohThe man who started everything: on the left, Kim il-Sung. Also known as “the eternal leader,” even though many years have passed since his death, he is still venerated as the supreme leader. He brought the cult of personality into the regime.

Morning practice

24 esercizio fiscio impostoEvery morning, everyone has to apply in these group exercises. Physical exercises is good, of course, but imposed in this way it can become alienating.


25 posti di blocco antifugaA typical outpost, to control the borders. In the case of North Korea, the borders are checked to avoid their own citizens breaking out, not so much to control income traffic. In fact, about 3-4000 people a year run away from North Korea.

The border with China

26 confine cineseThe border is separated by a thin strip of sea. It is constantly controlled by patrols, to avoid escaping. As you can see, the Chinese side (right) is much more modern.

“Muscle” showoffs

27 parata militareLike many regimes, North Korea likes to show its strength through demonstrations like this. But in their case, it is more to persuade their own citizens than the rest of the world, as the other states know the true power of North Korea, and they are not really scared.

Violence on women, forced abortions

28 bang mi sunThe photo portraits Mrs. Bang Mi-Sun, a former North Korean political prisoner, showing her leg full of scars… What she says is terrifying. Foreword: in North Korea is forbidden to have abortions, but if the son is suspected of being of Chinese origin, the government imposes abortion on women. Bang Mi-Sun recounts the prison period where she and other girls were constantly beaten, creating them serious injuries to the leg. The group of girls had to be taken to hospital for mandatory abortion, but the girl next to her, just 22, at the seventh month of pregnancy, refused to lose her baby. The guards then threw her down on the ground, back to the floor, and put a wooden board over her belly. Then they forced, by pointing their guns on them, two other prisoners to jump on the board. The girl lost the baby, and was brought to hospital, where she died shortly after. Mrs. Bang discovered her death only when she was taken to the hospital to cure her wounds to her already infected leg.