An American traveler has posted a remarkable set of pictures on his Instagram account, providing a glimpse into a bizarre yet beautiful state trapped in a 20th century dystopia.
Taylor Pemberton spent four days in the North Korean dictatorship on a tourist visa, documenting his trip via the picture-sharing site. According to the 26-year-old from Minnesota, he was free to take photos, but was occasionally instructed not to.
"Nobody went through my camera and scanned my photos," he told HuffPost. However they did check his phone, cameras, and memory cards upon entry.
On his trip, Pemberton said he had two tour guides to help him the entire time. "They were our liaisons," he said. "The guard you see in the portrait was the liaison at the DMZ."
“Visiting North Korea was really an amazing experience," reflected Pemberton. "It’s both mentally and emotionally challenging. It’s confusing but also enlightening. I had done a lot of research on the country and watched many documentaries on the subject."
He added: "I really went into it trying to keep an open mind, and was hoping that I could capture some of what was going on there. I’m not very political, yet wanted to learn more about the situation while also pursuing the art of photography and documentary. I think you gain a lot from just being there.”
In contrast to the grey, grainy images that usually seep out of North Korea, Pemberton's stunning documentation provides a fresh and very colourful insight into life in a state held captive by the 1950s.