North Korea: Where The Playground Resembles A Nuclear Warhead


There was an old tale that George W. Bush used to spend hours studying aerial shots of North Korea pondering what may rest beneath the blackness. Whether the Bush story is true or not, North Korea still presents a mystery to most of the outside world.

Media in North Korea remains strictly under government control. Information that emerges is typically leaked or gained from surveillance. That’s what makes the job photographers are doing on the ground more remarkable.

David Guttenfelder is on assignment for National Geographic in North Korea as the AP photographer in Asia. Guttendfelder is providing a rare glimpse at a society which appears governed by a stratocracy.

Here is a look at the North Korean military presence via an iPhone and Instagram app.

North Korea honors veterans just like we do over here. No matter the society veterans are proud to put the uniform on again.

The bodies of deceased North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state in the mausoleum where this soldier stands guard. The bodies remain embalmed inside of the monument to government. Think of it like the Arlington Cemetery of North Korea.

North Korean’s also like to show off POW’s. Here’s a picture of Major General William F. Dean surrendering during the Korean War. Without explaining military rank to you, lets just say this.

S*** is hitting the fan when a Major General is being captured during a war.

A soldier zeroes his rifle from a standing position. The civilian, unconcerned with basic range safety protocol, stands in front of the gunman

North Korea. Where a playground looks like a nuclear warhead.

For whatever reason, the beginning of 2Pac’s ‘I Get Around’ plays in my head when I see this picture.

Follow David Guttenfelder on Instagram for more fascinating pictures of life in North Korea.

[Image credit: Peer.Gynt]


Pete Myers

Pete Myers is a father, writer and small business owner who lives in Des Moines. Pete is an advocate for veterans groups that seek to improve awareness of PTSD and reduce suicide rates among returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. In his spare time he lives, breathes and eats sports.

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