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Title:The North Korea I wasnt meant to see
Duration:02:57
Viewed:8,096,336
Published:06-08-2013
Source:Youtube

My military minder tells me to turn my camera off and it soon becomes clear why.

The poverty I see through the bus window is not the view of North Korea the regime wants to be seen. We are traveling from Hyangsan, three hours north of Pyongyang back to the capital but the main road and the sanctioned route has been flooded. This is the only way back.

Buildings are in disrepair, some barely look inhabitable.

Residents of this small town walk or sit by the side of the road, many seeming to have little to do. A number of official-looking men dressed in brown Mao suits stand silently on street corners. It is impossible to know who they are or which element of the party or military they might work for but they clearly seem to be observing.

Despite the driver traveling as quickly as possible through these inhabited areas, you could still sense the local community being monitored.

Dozens of men are working on the outskirts of town, building a stone wall between their crops and the swollen river.

Boulders and stones are carried by hand and stacked without adhesive. This intensive labor force is seen repeatedly in the North Korean countryside, but I see no heavy equipment to help building or farming.

One man trims hedges with a rusty scythe, other men repair part of the pavement with small hand held pick axes.

Cars are rare, most people either walk or cycle.

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