These images come from David Guttenfelder, chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, who has been given unprecedented access to the isolated Stalinist state as part of the agency's efforts to expand its coverage there. The pictures are among the most candid ever published in Western newspapers.
[via the Independent UK]
The kafkaesque/Orwellian images depict a nation stuck in time.
A view of central Pyongyang, North Korea, at dusk on April 12, 2011
A statue known as the Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, which symbolizes the hope for eventual reunification of the two Koreas, arches over a highway at the edge of Pyongyang, North Korea, seen on April 18, 2011
A city tram carries passengers in Pyongyang
Commuters walk through a subway station in Pyongyang
A woman sits at a small table selling snacks on the roadside along the West Sea Barrage near Nampho, North Korea. About a quarter of the North's 24 million people need food aid, according to The World Food Programme
A man sits on a cart carrying wood on a road outside the southern town of Kaesong, North Korea wit a government official in the background following Photographer David Guttenfelder
A North Korean traffic police officer stands along a street in central Pyongyang
Men operate a manual rail car on tracks running along the West Sea barrage near Nampho, North Korea.
A young girl stands on floral-print carpet inside the Pyongyang Children's Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 14, 2011.
North Korean soldiers, foreground, and North Korean traffic police, background, tour the birthplace of Kim Il Sung to pay their respects at Mangyongdae, North Korea.
A large statue of Kim Il Sung sits in the entrance to the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang, North Korea, on March 9, 2011
Children look through a subway car window in Pyongyang. The unsmiling portraits of the nation's father-and-son dictatorship, Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il, hanging over each carriage doorway.
Check out this great video on North Korea. Funny, odd and sad in equal measures.