North Korea: Inside the rogue nuclear nation

Travel inspiration

By
8 June 2017

By | 8 June 2017

The secretive nation of North Korea is a country closed to most. Tommy Nilsson took his camera and snapped the oddly empty country for Kiwi.com Stories

A North Korean border guard shadowed Tommy during his trip to the border region – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaA North Korean border guard shadowed Tommy during his trip to the border region – Tommy Nilsson

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge crosses the Yalu River, the border river between North Korea and China. On the right is the old Friendship Bridge, which was destroyed by the Americans during the Korean War. It is now called The Broken Bridge and stands on the Chinese side of the border – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaThe Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge crosses the Yalu River, the border river between North Korea and China. On the right is the old Friendship Bridge, which was destroyed by the Americans during the Korean War. It is now called The Broken Bridge and stands on the Chinese side of the border – Tommy Nilsson

Downtown Kaesong is empty in the middle of a working day. There are hardly any cars, buses or people. Kaesong is a city of about 200,000 people. It is situated very close to the border with South Korea – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaDowntown Kaesong is empty in the middle of a working day. There are hardly any cars, buses or people. Kaesong is a city of about 200,000 people. It is situated very close to the border with South Korea – Tommy Nilsson

The Pyongyang Metro is popular and crowded, but smooth. The trains are old cars bought from both the East and West Berlin metros. Every car has a picture of the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, and so does every station. It is possible to see the legs of a large wall painting of Kim Il-Sung in the background – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaThe Pyongyang Metro is popular and crowded, but smooth. The trains are old cars bought from both the East and West Berlin metros. Every car has a picture of the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, and so does every station. It is possible to see the legs of a large wall painting of Kim Il-Sung in the background – Tommy Nilsson

Located in the very heart of Pyongyang are two 22-metre-high bronze statues of Kim Il-sung, the supreme leader of North Korea until his death in 1994, and Kim Jong-Il, who ruled until his death in 2011. It is called the Mansudae Grand Monument. If you want to take pictures of the statues, it is illegal to only include part or parts of the statues. You must fit the whole statue in the picture – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaLocated in the very heart of Pyongyang are two 22-metre-high bronze statues of Kim Il-sung, the supreme leader of North Korea until his death in 1994, and Kim Jong-Il, who ruled until his death in 2011. It is called the Mansudae Grand Monument. If you want to take pictures of the statues, it is illegal to only include part or parts of the statues. You must fit the whole statue in the picture – Tommy Nilsson

The flags of the signatories of the Korean armistice remain on the tables. This hall is where the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on 27 July, 1953 and brought a halt to the Korean War. The treaty established the Korean Demilitarised Zone and it was signed by the UN, North Korea and China. The tables in the pictures have never been used after the signing of the treaty – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaThe flags of the signatories of the Korean armistice have remained on the tables since 1953. This hall is where the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on 27 July, bringing a halt to the Korean War. The treaty established the Korean Demilitarised Zone and it was signed by the UN, North Korea and China. The tables in the pictures have never been used after the signing of the treaty – Tommy Nilsson

Conference row is split down the middle by the border between North and South Korea. It splits the blue buildings in half, and, inside these, tables are laid across the division. During negotiations, delegations will not cross the border. The building in the background is Freedom House, on the southern side. It houses a Red Cross centre where reunions between families split by the border may be held – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaConference row is split down the middle by the border between North and South Korea. It splits the blue buildings in half, and, inside these, tables are laid across the division. During negotiations, delegations will not cross the border. The building in the background is Freedom House, on the southern side. It houses a Red Cross centre where reunions between families split by the border may be held – Tommy Nilsson

A road leads to a gateway into the northern side of the Joint Security Area. This is the entrance to the area surrounding the border where negotiations may take place. The first 100 metres are walled in and protected – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaA road leads to a gateway into the northern side of the Joint Security Area. This is the entrance to the area surrounding the border where negotiations may take place. The first 100 metres are walled in and heavily protected – Tommy Nilsson

Pyongyang train station was built in 1906, and rebuilt in 1958 after being demolished during the Korean War. This is platform 1, the largest one and adjacent to the train station. The train is bound Dandong in China, and will cross the Friendship Bridge after clearing customs – Tommy Nilsson North KoreaPyongyang train station was built in 1906, and rebuilt in 1958 after being destroyed during the Korean War. This is platform one, the largest one. The train is bound Dandong in China, and will cross the Friendship Bridge after clearing customs – Tommy Nilsson

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