North Korea is a country rampant with poverty, censorship and the worst human rights violations in the world. In the West, we typically see only rare glimpses of what daily life is really like in North Korea, but now we have jarring photographic evidence of harsh reality for North Korean citizens.
Photographer Eric Lafforgue was on a mission to visually document daily life in the communist country. After being banned in 2012, Lafforgue is now exposing the forbidden images he captured during his most recent visit to North Korea. From malnourishment to child labor to extreme lifestyles, the photos paint a haunting picture of the quality of life North Koreans suffer through.
"Life is brutal in many places of North Korea, far from the Western standard," Lafforgue told news.com.au. There is minimal public transportation, power outages are common, food is limited and safety standards are almost non-existent. Lafforgue captured the photos in the presence of state officials but was instructed to delete them. Fortunately, he saved them on digital SIM cards and was able to smuggle them out of the country.
With such low standards of living, it is no wonder that Kim Jong-un doesn't want the rest of the world seeing the realities of the country. Still though, wealth does exist and cars are becoming more universal. In Pyongyang particularly, poverty is not as apparent as in the countryside.