If you've ever wondered what life in North Korea looks like, the following pictures from the country's capital, Pyongyang, provide actual snapshots into the lives of urban North Koreans. Though the age of smartphones usually allows for maximum documentation, Pyongyang photos remain difficult to find given the country's self-imposed isolation and a citizen population largely unaware of the outside world. In fact, the only real consistent photos of life in North Korea usually revolve around its dictator, Kim Jong Un, who maintains a state of practical godliness over his people.
Foreigners visiting North Korea are highly restricted in terms of where they are allowed to go and what they are allowed to take pictures of. Thus, even visiting the country doesn't provide the entire story. But many of the following photos taken by more bold and daring photographers show an attempt to depict the real Pyongyang, thereby giving the outside world a small idea of what life is like in North Korea.
Two Men Play Korean ChessPhoto: Marcelo Druck via Flickr
Two tour guides play a fold-up Korean chess game. Known as janggi, there are seven different types of pieces, and each side of the board is called a palace.
Orderly Lines In Kim Il-sung SquarePhoto: Stephan / Flickr
Uniformed North Korean students are lined up for a festival or rally in Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. The 37th largest square space in the world, Kim Il-sung Square can hold over 100,000 people.
A Lone Traffic GirlPhoto: Marcelo Druck via Flickr
A traffic conductor faces the morning traffic in Pyongyang. Traffic in Pyongyang remains relatively scarce, due to the fact few people own cars.
A Rare Bird's Eye View Of Pyongyang
A view of Pyongyang taken from Juche Tower. Many of Pyongyang's buildings hold elderly people who can never leave, due to power shortages that cut off elevator access for many structures.