Want to get to know the country that may soon declare nuclear war on us thanks to President Trump? Well, we've got some insider info for you – photos that were taken illegally within North Korea's borders.
Huniewicz shot many of the photos illegally, and they depict images the North Korean government surely doesn't want seen. If he had been caught, there's no telling what his punishment would have been, but he risked his life so that he could share the information with the world. Huniewicz smuggled the pics out successfully, so now you get to see what daily life is like in North Korea.
This is the first photograph Huniewicz took of North Korea while in the country. Just one look at this photo gives you an idea of the very sterile, regimented designs of North Korean cities. And I'd wager it's not anybody's dream to live in a place that looks like this.
"It felt like landing on another planet, and looked like an Oriental version of Eastern Europe from before 1989," Huniewicz said. "The city is Sinuiju."
Huniewicz snapped this from his train, which is illegal to do. Fortunately, no one caught him, because his trip would have come to a very, very fast end before it had even begun.
So much of what North Korea portrays to the world is smoke and mirrors. They put on a show for visitors to show that the country is powerful and wealthy and that its citizens are happy and healthy, but once the visitors leave, all of that changes. This photo depicts a scene Huniewicz is convinced was staged for the benefit of tourists.
"We looked at a surreal scene that appeared like something out of a theatre in its perfection and artifice," he wrote. "Elegant men, beautiful women, walking in a simulated hurry, travellers without a reason (ours was the only train that day), all to impress us and so that the station doesn't look empty."
Huniewicz snapped this photo of Pyongyang from a room at the Yanggakdo Hotel (where they put most Western visitors).
"On the left, the Koryo hotel, supposedly on fire quite recently. This is where you will stay if you are Chinese - the Chinese are given a lot more freedom than anyone else. The hotel is in the city centre, and the tourists staying there can walk around the block on their own, and get away with crossing the streets (although it's officially not allowed)."
On the right, there's the Ryugyong, also known as the Hotel of Doom. This tall building sits empty, since North Korea doesn't have the money to complete the construction, which started in 1987.
This is a photo of the the Grand People's Study House, which is located in center of the capital, the Central District."
"The library inside that building has some foreign books, but one needs a permission to get them, because otherwise they would contaminate the North Korean minds with Western ideas," explained Huniewicz.
Huniewicz described special badges that privileged Pyongyang residents wear:
"It seems that everyone living in Pyongyang has to wear this badge, and you cannot just buy it. Supposedly they may give it to you if you're obedient and don't ask stupid questions - or you can buy a counterfeit one in China."
Yikes. Off the top of my head, I can think of one other ruler who made some of its people wear badges...
Here's Huniewicz breaking yet another rule. He cut off the rest of the leaders' statues in this picture, and oh boy, that's not okay in North Korea.
"The place is called Mansu Hill Grand Monument," Huniewicz wrote, "and you are informed that 'visitors who take photos of the statues are required to frame both leaders in the entirety of their picture.'"
All of the buildings look like types of prisons, which in effect, they are. Even in their own homes, North Koreans do not have the freedom that we have. They are always being monitored and their entertainment is strictly censured.
Because it's so hard (and expensive) to buy food at the grocery store, many North Koreans resort to other sources of nutrition. Basically, they scavenge. North Koreans are known to eat whatever they can find, such as rats, dead birds, grass, and leaves. The North Korean government even published a leaves and grass cookbook. And no, that's not a joke. They really did.