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North Korea through the lens of an Israeli photographer
By: Michael Podberezin
September 1, 2011

In August, 2011, Michael Podberezin became the first Israeli to gain entrance to North Korea as a tourist on his Israeli passport. During his visit, he managed to capture some of the absurdity of life behind the curtain of the 38th parallel just months before the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

6587380493_45dcabc2dd_z“Going on a trip to North Korea was not an easy decision. After all, everything is state-owned, therefore every dollar spent in the country went directly to the North Korean regime.

However, I found that my contact with the locals – limited though it was – helped them as much as it fulfilled my curiousity. I showed a 27 year old woman her first western movie (“The Devil Wears Prada” – don’t ask). I informed a self-proclaimed political science expert about the revolutions that had been taking place in the Arab world (not reported on North Korean state television). Most importantly, I talked to people who had never heard of Jews – or Israel – and hopefully, left a positive impression with them.

I hope you enjoy the following photo collection, as it’s a journey not just through space, but also through time, into an era most people assume is long gone.”

– Michael Podberezin

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