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  1. The Ryongchon blast: why one of North Korea's worst disasters remains a mystery | NK News
  2. The secrets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
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Take a look at the famously guarded country through our photos, videos, and articles, collected here in order to highlight everyday life in an unfamiliar area of the world. It was created by a foreigner who was allowed to capture footage from a unique vantage point: a tiny airplane that flew over the city. Although the government allowed only limited footage, filmmakers Rob Whitworth and J. Singh provided glimpses of daily life in the following time-lapse video of Pyongyang, including North Koreans riding the subway, circling historic monuments, and visiting a local skate park.

Soldiers are involved in development and infrastructure projects, and Guttenfelder captured their importance in daily life in Pyongyang. Everyone at the event has a role to play, including the spectators, who use color flip-books to make grand mosaics from the stands.

The Ryongchon blast: why one of North Korea's worst disasters remains a mystery | NK News

These images by Ed Jones capture North Koreans as they wait at bus stops in the capital of Pyongyang. While their bored expressions mirror those of bus riders the world over, the stops themselves look a bit different in North Korea. Instead of sporting ads or graffiti, they feature landscapes or cityscapes, often with beautiful scenery. Buses are by far the most common means of public transport in the capital of around three million people, where access to private cars is rare, and they offer an extensive network of coverage.

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Tickets cost 5 won each, less than 0. Sprinkled with villages and blueberries, the sacred and beautiful volcano Mount Paektu has been rumbling in recent years , prompting an international effort to study its underbelly.

The secrets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

A millennium ago, Mount Paektu exploded with a fury rivaling the largest eruptions in recorded human history, hurling crackling rocks and ash as far away as Japan. Few outside the region are even aware it exists. And no one knows if, or when, the 9,foot-tall peak might erupt again. The founder and first leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, created the country's policy of juche or "self-reliance," which cut off North Korea economically and diplomatically from the rest of the world, even in times of great need, such as famines.

Kim Jong Il, son of the country's founder, has performed amazing feats, according to state-controlled media: He scored a perfect the first time he went bowling and sank 11 holes-in-one the first time he played golf. During its seven-decade existence, North Korea has been ruled by three generations of the same family, all brutal dictators.

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Between , and , North Koreans live in prison camps surrounded by electrified fencing, according to South Korean government estimates and Human Rights Watch. The worst camps are for those who commit political crimes, and offenders can have their entire extended family imprisoned with them.

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North Koreans must abide by one of 28 approved haircuts. Unmarried women must have short hair, but married woman have many more options. All legal televisions are tuned to state-controlled domestic programming.

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The Internet does not exist other than a closed domestic network. Few North Koreans know anything about world events apart from how they are described by North Korean state propaganda. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests since , in violation of international law. Two were conducted in , including one that North Korea said was a powerful hydrogen bomb. However, the United States doubted that claim.