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Aug 13, 2017 | 13:00 GMT

1 min read

The Hermit Kingdom of North Korea: A Visual Anthology

A military parade marches past buildings in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang.
(ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Editor's Note:

Six decades after the end of the Korean War's inconclusive cease-fire in 1953, the peninsula remains deeply divided, and technically still at war. Decades of sanctions have left the Democratic People's Republic of Korea poor and largely isolated, but not without ambition. The hermit kingdom has continued its slow march toward a credible nuclear deterrent, much to the dismay of the United States and its allies in the region. Recent missile tests have put international attention on North Korea, a country vying to be the world's next nuclear power. As threats and rhetoric continue to pour across the Pacific from both directions, we take a visual journey through one of the United States' most bellicose adversaries.  

People in Pyongyang watch news footage on a giant television outside the city's main railway station. Despite sanctions and international condemnation, North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear missile program. 

(KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a combat drill of the Korean People's Army while holding binoculars.

An image of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un presiding the Korean People's Army during combat drills. Obtaining imagery from within the country is problematic, though the Korean Central News Agency frequently releases pictures, often designed to show Pyongyang's resilience, technological sophistication or military strength. 

(KNS/AFP/Getty Images)
North Koreans assemble under a propaganda poster during a rally for the country's opposition to the United States.

North Koreans assemble under a propaganda poster during a rally for the country's opposition to the United States. Everyone sports similar hairstyles in accordance with the policies of the North Korean state, which has approved only fifteen hairstyles for each gender.

(KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Kim Jong Un, with his usual entourage of generals, watches the successful test-firing of the Hwasong-14 ballistic missile, July 4.

Kim Jong Un, with his usual entourage of generals, watches the successful test-firing of the Hwasong-14 ballistic missile, July 4. The landmark test demonstrated the country's ability to sucessfully produce an intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the United States. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the Korean People's Army relax at Hamhung Railway Station.

Soldiers of the Korean People's Army relax at Hamhung Railway Station. Photographs of North Korean Soldiers, especially pictures that show them relaxing, are suppressed by the North Korean government. Tourists in the country are expressly forbidden from taking unauthorized pictures.

(XIAOLU CHU/Getty Images)
A view of downtown Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, dominated by the unfinished Ryugyong Hotel.

A view of downtown Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, dominated by the arrowhead-shaped Ryugyong Hotel. The building remains unfinished and unopened despite repeated attempts to complete the construction, which first began in 1987 and was first halted in 1992. 

(FENG LI/Getty Images)
A woman in Pyongyang holds a fake rifle while waiting for a trolley bus.

A woman in Pyongyang holds a fake rifle while waiting for a trolley bus. Although access to cars in the country is rare, tickets for buses and trams in the capital cost lest than one U.S. cent. 

(ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Looking out from an apartment balcony in Pyongyang, a North Korean resident ponders life.

Looking out from an apartment balcony in Pyongyang, a North Korean resident ponders life. Uniformity is not only a typical architectural theme in communist countries, but a mindset. 

(ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Son Gwon-Geun, a native North Korean, weeps as he says goodbye to his South Korean relatives.

Son Gwon-Geun, a native North Korean, weeps as he says goodbye to his South Korean relatives. Although 19 rounds of limited family reunions for relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War have occured since 1985, the meetings have regularly been used as a bargaining chip in relations between North and South Korea. 

(The Korea Press Photographers' Association via Getty Images)

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