Saturday, May 17, 2014

The photos North Korea didn’t want you to see

PHOTOGRAPHER Eric Lafforgue has ventured into North Korea six times.

Using digital memory cards he smuggled out images of the communist nation he was forbidden to take.

Mr Lafforgue wanted to show that North Koreans are humans, not robots, who also suffer.

“I was banned after my last trip in September 2012 when I published some photos on the web. The North Koreans saw them and asked me to delete them as they judged them too offensive. I refused as I thought it was unfair not to show the reality of the country,” he told

He said life outside Pyongyang and the main towns was tough for the locals.

“Life is brutal in many places of North Korea, far from the Western standard.”

In a small fishing village, where Mr Lafforgue visited multiple times, he was treated like an honoured guest. The town was so isolated they had never seen a mobile phone and they spent their days fishing and growing seaweed.

“Even with their hard life, they told me, with tears in their eyes, they venerate the dear leaders ... even if sometimes they do not have a lot to eat.”

These are the photographs Kim Jong-un didn’t want the outside world to see.

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