Kim Jong Un Said No: Banned Photos From North Korea

North Korea is a country shrouded in secrecy. One of the most mysterious places on earth, it is also one of the most difficult to visit. It is nearly impossible for an outsider to gain entry without a hard-to-get and pricey visa. Here are the haunting photos, along with photographer Eric Lafforgue’s descriptions.

Born to Work

Photo: Vice News/David Guttenfelder
Photo: Vice News/David Guttenfelder

Childhood might just be the most innocent and happiest of times for the children of North Korea. However, this is because they are not old enough to understand the horrible conditions they are brought up in or that they are being conditioned to acknowledge their dictator as a great guy.

Those who are not so fortunate to be born in Pyongyang often are subject to harsh conditions not suitable for a child. North Korea has recently come under fire for their forced labor of children, who are treated like slaves. This picture depicts school-aged children fixing potholes in the North Hamgyong province.

The country’s bizarre leader Kim Jong Un has forbidden any photos depicting poverty, including malnourished people and child laborers. But a French photographer named Eric Lafforgue managed to smuggle a photo card out of the country, and it held a treasure trove: a rare look into real North Korean life. Lafforgue is now permanently banned from North Korea. This soldier pictured above was sleeping in a field. Taking a photo like this will get you banned from the country.