Uncensored Instagrams From North Korea: A Rare Glimpse Into the World’s Most Secretive Country

An AP photographer offers a window in.

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North Korea has long been shrouded in a haze of seclusion and mystery. But over the past year, the country has eased up on some of its restrictions by allowing visitors to carry phones and even access a 3G network. Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder has been quick to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to disseminate information — and, of course, photos — from within North Korea’s borders.

(PHOTOS: A New Look at North Korea)

Guttenfelder shared more details of his mission with Wired:

In a country known for its censorship, I’m now uploading photos to Instagram from the streets of North Korea like I would anywhere else in the world. Through social media, I’m trying to piece together a picture of this country for the outside world … No one puts their hand in front of my camera, and no one tells me not to shoot things. There’s no review process. They don’t look at my pictures at all before I send them on the Associated Press wire or my Instagram account. Facebook even asks me to tag my “friends” Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung when I upload my photos.

Here are just a few of the many shots he’s shared on his Instagram account:

Security. #Pyongyang, North Korea.

A post shared by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder) on

Lunch. Kaesong, DPRK.

A post shared by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder) on

DPRK in B&W. Rural North Korea near #Kaesong.

A post shared by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder) on

“Until a few months ago, the Google map of North Korea was a blank slate,”  Guttenfelder told Wired. “Now I’m like an explorer, charting the country with my check-ins and photos.”