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North Korea in Videos: Inside the World’s Most Secretive State

•, By Jeffrey Marlow
 All foreigner-oriented tours display a carefully managed, intentionally curated side of the country; with no opportunity for cross-examination, such visits don’t facilitate a journalistic treatment of life in North Korea.

But the trip was fascinating nonetheless, full of revelations both sobering (kindergardens adorned with graphically anti-American murals) and mundane (people smile when smiled at). In this gallery, brief iPhone videos from Pyongyang offer windows into North Korea. No attempt is made to read the tea leaves or separate truth from stagecraft; the interpretation is up to you.

Pyongyang Metro
A walk through the Yonggwang Metro platform, the jewel of Pyongyang's underground train system. The underground stations are ornate but dimly lit: patrons squint to read posted newspapers while patriotic music echoes faintly across the stone floor. Mosaics and metallic reliefs extolling the virtues of North Korean workers and landscapes line the walls, while inside the cars, smiling portraits of past leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il look down on passengers.

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